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After fire, rehab almost complete on UNA’s Phi Gamma Delta house

FLORENCE, Ala. – Eleven months ago, a fire ravaged a University of North Alabama fraternity house. The date was August 30th; that afternoon Florence fire investigators say a smoking utensil caught a couch on the back deck on fire and it spread into the Phi Gamma Delta house. A lot of time has passed since then, and a lot of work as well.

Tuesday afternoon, construction workers placed one of the final pieces on top of the FIJI house. A symbol it’s almost complete.

“We call it kind of the christening of the house,” stated Bill Rogers. “Even though it’s a little early before its finished, but we had to get that up so they can complete the work in the attic and doing the wiring and so forth. But I have been waiting on this day for a while, and I know everyone else has too.”

In a matter of just a few minutes, the cupola everyone recognizes atop the Phi Gamma Delta house was back in place. It’s the original cupola which had to be repaired after the fire heavily damaged it last year.

“I was coming from Killen and saw the smoke,” Rogers explained. “That was the first thing that hit me, did everyone get out and we found out they did.”

Rogers has been overseeing repairs to the fraternity house. He says while the home was closed to members, they took the opportunity to bring several things up to today’s fire codes. Workers have been busy on the inside preparing it for occupancy once again.

“We’re trying for the first part of August to get them back in. Once we pass the inspections and everything, we can try to get them back in.”

Even after the work is completed on the inside, workers will likely remain on-site for several weeks finishing repairs to the exterior.