A June fire at the William J. Hughes Technical Center in Egg Harbor Township caused at least $2.2 million in damage, the Federal Aviation Administration said Tuesday.
That estimate includes the cost for emergency response, cleanup, some demolition and installation of a temporary roof. But costs will continue to mount as it’s not yet clear how much reconstruction work will cost, FAA spokeswoman Holly Baker said.
The June 22 fire caused extensive smoke and water damage on the second and third floors of Building 300, the center’s main administration building. Witnesses reported that there were three explosions, possibly from propone tanks, before the fire began. Severe thunderstorms were moving into the area at the time.
More than a month later, the FAA has yet to release a cause of the fire. It remains under investigation. No foul play is suspected, Baker said. Teams of emergency responders fought the blaze, but the investigation into the cause of the fire falls under the purview of the FAA.
The tech center is the national scientific test base for the FAA.
With the exception of some electrical demolition work, the cleanup efforts have been completed. Some 230 work stations were removed from the affected space. The FAA is now embarking on restoration phases, including installing a temporary wall around the affected area. Temporary workstations are also being worked on as well as designs for permanent workstations, Baker said.
The FAA expects to have more complete cost projections within a week.
The fire did not affect any of the systems that directly control air traffic. Some systems that manage the flow of traffic across the country were temporarily unavailable and moved to backup systems, but those functions were later restored to the technical center.
Access to the Atlantic City International Airport was shut down for about an hour and half while emergency responders worked to control the blaze.