Property managers to allow tenants access to burned storage building

Published: Aug. 7, 2017 at 4:11 PM EDT
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Fire officials say they don't know what caused a part of a Salem storage center to go up in flames last week.

The fire marshal's office has since concluded the investigation into Monday night's fire at Apperson Self Storage.

In an email, City of Salem officials wrote:

"The Salem Fire and EMS Department is finished with the official investigation unless new information is brought to its attention.

Damage estimate is $1.5 million."

Tenants are now allowed on the property - but those who lost items in the fire have only been able to look at their units from behind a fence.

Tuesday, Apperson will allow those tenants to retrieve their items from 4:30 pm until 7 pm - but say they do so at their own risk.

Property managers say while there doesn't appear to be a risk of the building collapsing it's still hazardous.

They plan to demolish the building within the next two weeks. Apperson officials maintain that they are not responsible for items lost in the fire.

Tom Fiskus, President of Pinnacle Realty, LLC which manages the property wrote to us in an email:

"Customers store at their own risk as our rental agreement clearly states. In bold and all capital letters the agreement states “ OWNER PROVIDES NO INSURANCE FOR OCCUPANT’S PROPERTY STORED IN THE LEASED SPACE.” Further, the agreement requires the customer to initial the paragraph stating, 'By initialing here I understand that my property is not insured. I also understand the Customers Goods Insurance is available through a third party at an additional monthly charge.'"

Fiskus said in an email he wrote to tenants on August 2:

"We suggest to our customers the need to obtain customer goods insurance and make it available for purchase, however, we do not require that our customers obtain this coverage. I always felt to dictate such a policy was unfair and onerous as it mandated a higher expense to our customers. I felt that our customers should be allowed to make their own decisions."

Fiskus said Apperson staff and security will be on hand while tenants retrieve their items on Tuesday.