City explains demolition process for building destroyed in fire last week

The fire that consumed a portion of the apartment complex and hair design academy on Raynor Street and Pershing is still under investigation.

The actual cause of the fire has yet to be determined, according to El Paso Fire spokesman George De La Torre.

However, that doesn't mean the demolition will be put on pause.

According to Tom Maguire, with the City's Building Permits and Inspections department, the demolition of unstable portions of the Pipo building must occur immediately.

Maguire told ABC-7 the actual process is in the hands of the building's owner, Hector Barragan.

Barragan has already hired an engineer, according to the city.

The engineer must now analyze the area, and determine which portions of the building must go down. Time is important because parts of Raynor and Pershing remain closed until this demolition.

Maguire said once the engineer provides the city with an analysis, Barragan will be given a demolition permit.

From there, the demolition may occur.

After the demolition, the clean-up process may be a bit more time consuming.

Barragan will need to pay for an asbestos survey, and will also be given time to survey the land for anything salvageable.

If the survey turns up negative for asbestos, the debris and rubble may be transferred to the landfill, Maguire said.

However, if asbestos is located in the area, Barragan will then be required to hire an asbestos abatement contractor who will need to devise a disposal plan per state codes.

Maguire said Barragan will be given time for this portion of the clean up. However, if he stops activity on the site, Maguire said the city does have the power to enter the site, clean it up, and bill Barragan. 

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