Special agents called in, neighbors rebuild after fire

Posted: Monday, August 11, 2014 --- 9:15pm

It's been three days since the massive blaze ripped through a construction site on Madison's east side, on the 500 block of Apollo Way, and still each moment remains on replay in Mary O'Donnell's head.

"It still seems kind of surreal, like I'm watching it in a movie or something” O'Donnell, who lives across from the fire site, tells NBC 15. “It was just a dream.”

Friday was coincidentally the couple's 27th anniversary, and instead of a quiet night celebrating at home, it was anything but. "We enjoyed a little wine late at night and really got no sleep, but it's okay” she says.

What's not okay is the side of O'Donnell's house, which took part of the brunt of the blaze. “The wind was blowing it, at times, toward the houses which made it even a little scarier” she says.

But O'Donnell's biggest concern isn't her house itself, rather what surrounds it: the landscaping. Take one look and it's as if her trees were spray painted. Brown leaves can be seen throughout, while pine needles on other trees are falling like flies. "I keep the sprinklers running as much as I can. It's hard to know how much to do.”

Thankfully for O'Donnell, insurance does cover landscaping, which is big relief to her as she continues to wrap her mind around the entire situation.

“It was really a horribly perfect storm” she says.

The Grandview Commons complex is a total loss, suffering an estimated $3.5M to to $5M in damage.

Agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives have been called in to help investigate.

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