Gary OlfenBacher, executive vice president with Continental Management, who operates River Terrace, said "damages could run closer to $2 million dollars when all is said and done."
In the back of River Terrace Apartments crews, wearing protective masks, have been removing water and smoke damaged items from between 50 to 60 apartments.
Last Friday, management reported only a few apartments were damaged, but at closer inspection realized that apartments from the 6th floor, where the fire originated, and down had major water damage. Units located on the 7th through 10th floors has some smoke damage.
In fact, three large dumpsters are packed full of everything from soaked dry wall, to water logged mattresses and furniture.
In the front, next to the building's entrance, a large generator powers a special heating system and de-humidier to dry out the north side of the complex.
"It's a mess. It's a mess," said Robert Triche, who lives on the 10th floor at was home when the fire broke out.
"They ripped the walls out. They gotta re-wire a lot of stuff. It's a mess," explained Triche. "But they're doing the best they can."
Triche took several pictures of the work going on inside the building. Carpeting has been ripped out of hallways and apartments. Holes cut into the dry wall, or in some cases, walls were taken back down to the studs. Trash cans full of insulation and duct work.
"It was a little disorganized at first, but with a little boost their slowing getting it together," added Triche.
Because of the damage 9 families were moved to other apartments or townhouses on the property.
The management is not relocating one resident, Dwight Wilder. It was his apartment where the fire started.
Police say 32-year old Monica Smith was a guest of Wilder's, got into a fight with him, and when he left she used some excellerant to start his apartment on fire.
Olfenbaucher says the insurance company was out at the site yesterday starting their investigation.
Their report is expected to be done by next week.
After that crews hope to go full speed ahead with repairing the complex.
No word on how long it will be before residents can move back into this part of the building.
Smith is scheduled for a preliminary hearing on arson charges next week in Berrien County court.