WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Our cameras were there to capture images at 806 Orange Street last February after a fire ripped through the house built in 1903. The devastation was widespread, rendering the Carmichael House unlivable.
Now, after almost a year and a half, the home with five apartments has been fully restored. The home’s owner Scott Woehr says he’s happy he chose to rebuild.
“When the Farm Bureau insurance adjuster came, he said to me, ‘you have a tough decision to make.’ He said if this house had burned for five minutes less, it would be an easy decision one way. If it had burned for five minutes more, it’d be an easy decision the other way,” Woehr said. “I’m in to historic preservation so for me it was never really a decision.”
But it wasn’t an easy process. Flames destroyed the third floor causing crews to have to rip out everything down to the bare bones. Robbie Sutton, with Carolina Green Building, helped in the home’s restoration.
“The biggest challenge was in the beginning when we had to decide what we wanted to keep and what we wanted to restore,” Sutton said. “So for instance, we originally were going to keep the roof system, but we ended up tearing the entire roof off and restore. After that, everything kind of fell into place and we were able to keep a lot of the original styling and architectural features.”
That hard work and dedication to restoring the home to its original beauty is now paying off and making others wishes come true. New tenant Mike Phillips wanted to live in downtown Wilmington for several years. Now he’s got the chance.
“The real structure of the house, the staircase, the floors and everything like that are really part of the history so I just thought it was nice,” Phillips said. “It was the 1900s brought back to life.”