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Demolition Work Sparks Fire At Hard Rock Hotel Site

Aubri Juhasz
The partially collapsed Hard Rock Hotel burns on Canal Street in New Orleans. Sept. 28, 2020.

The site of the collapsed Hard Rock Hotel in downtown New Orleans is on fire. The New Orleans Fire Department is on the scene.

City spokesperson Trey Caruso confirmed that the fire started when debris caught fire as demolition workers cut beams with torches.

“There is minimal concern that the fire can spread beyond the Hard Rock site,” a city press release said

The city is advising residents to avoid the area due to the heavy black smoke. Residents and businesses nearby are advised to shut off external air intakes, turn off air conditioners, and to limit smoke from being brought indoors.

The building partially collapsed last October, killing three workers and injuring 18 others. It took nine months for the remains of two of the victims — Quinnyon Wimberly and Jose Ponce Arreola — to be recovered from the site.

The city is suing the owner of the hotel project, Mohan Kailas, his partners and contractors.

Tegan has reported on the coast for WWNO since 2015. In this role she has covered a wide range of issues and subjects related to coastal land loss, coastal restoration, and the culture and economy of Louisiana’s coastal zone, with a focus on solutions and the human dimensions of climate change. Her reporting has been aired nationally on Planet Money, Reveal, All Things Considered, Morning Edition, Marketplace, BBC, CBC and other outlets. She’s a recipient of the Pulitzer Connected Coastlines grant, CUNY Resilience Fellowship, Metcalf Fellowship, and countless national and regional awards.

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