Removal of items from the structure will begin this week, with tear-down to follow

The oldest standing commercial building in Naples destroyed by fire in August is ready to be demolished. Removal of items from the structure will begin this week, with demolition to start soon after, said Naples Code Enforcement Officer Frank Mueller. A contractor was awarded the bid to do the tear down using heavy equipment, with debris to be loaded into dumpsters and hauled away for proper disposal.

The fire at 102 N. Main St. displaced seven people who lived in the three-unit apartment building, which also housed two businesses. The fire was believed to have started with a smoldering cigarette on an upper deck. Everyone got out safely.

The building was declared a total loss. The building owner and village officials are exploring possible grants to rebuild at the site where the pre-Civil War structure had remained the oldest in the village’s downtown.

Mueller said after the demolition, that area for the time-being will be leveled off with gravel.