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20 displaced by Raleigh condo fire; 2 firefighters injured

Posted August 6

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— Twenty people were displaced from their homes early Wednesday after fire damaged multiple units of a three-story condominium building in the 1300 block of Park Glen Drive in east Raleigh.

Emergency crews responded to the scene, which is off Raleigh Road, shortly after 2 a.m.

Two firefighters were taken to a local hospital following the blaze with minor injuries. One firefighter suffered a neck and back injury, officials said.

According to investigators, the fire was caused by improperly discarded smoking material.

"When we arrived there was heavy fire coming through the roof and it was on the front deck," Raleigh Fire Department Battalion Chief David Whitley said. "Crews went in and did a primary search. No occupants were found, it was clear."

No people inside the units were injured, and all of the residents were out of the building by the time Raleigh fire crews arrived.

Twelve units were damaged, and it took more than 30 firefighters about 45 minutes to bring the fire under control.

Tyrique Williams, 15, said he was watching TV in the bedroom of his first-floor condominium when he saw flames.

"I looked out the window and I saw flames up and down my window," he said. "I went outside, called the police and started banging on everybody's door."

Whitley said there were a number of smoke detectors going off when firefighters arrived.

"That probably saved some lives," he said.

Dominique Burnette said someone woke her up by pounding on her front door.

"It's scary hearing that loud knock at that time of the night. My heart dropped," she said. "Once I opened the door and heard fire I just got my family and got out. I started recording the flames and things falling off the building. It was scary seeing that. You see it all the time on the news, but you never think it will happen to you."

No other information about the fire was immediately available. Red Cross officials were assisting those who were displaced by the blaze.

Several residents were allowed back into their units after the blaze was extinguished to gather personal belongings.

Burnette said she got as much as she could for her son.

"For one, I had to get my son's pacifier," she said. "I got some shorts, clothes and things for my son when we go to the hotel."

11 Comments

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  • "Screen Name-8/20" Aug 6, 3:38 p.m.

    "According to investigators, the fire was caused by *improperly discarded smoking material*."

    Not... View More

    — Posted by OpenM1nd

    -

    Could also be caused by emptying an ash tray with still smoldering refuse into a trash can. The clubhouse of a complex we lived in long ago went up that way. Those who had used it for the night, in a hurry to clean up and get home, didn't take the time to make sure all within the ash trays were fully extinguished.

    Though I never smoked, after that happened, I was always careful to empty ash trays into a metal coffee can for several hours before dumping them into a trash can.

  • "Screen Name-8/20" Aug 6, 3:34 p.m.

    Thank God all are safe.
    Prayers they are fully restored, 70x7.

  • OpenM1nd Aug 6, 2:15 p.m.

    "According to investigators, the fire was caused by *improperly discarded smoking material*."

    Not saying this was the specific scenario this time, but that term is often used whenever someone falls asleep while smoking in bed. I am suspicious given the time of night and the frequency of the occurrence.

  • TarHeelBrit Aug 6, 1:19 p.m.

    Park Glen Drive in east Raleigh. is Section 8 rental housing not "condos". I passed on buying... View More

    — Posted by mike275132

    Really? is that what you're harping on Section 8? Shouldn't our thoughts and prayers be with the families now homeless and the two firefighter injured in this incident? But all you can say is "Section 8".

  • brittneyhntr1 Aug 6, 12:53 p.m.

    Mike275132 I don't see how your comment relates to this story..who cares if they are called "condos" or if they are called section 8 housing, what matters the most is that everyone is safe!

    Way to go Tyrique :) I'm just thankful to God that everyone is ok!

  • moneyboy Aug 6, 12:52 p.m.

    Park Glen Drive in east Raleigh. is Section 8 rental housing not "condos". I passed on buying... View More

    — Posted by mike275132

  • dcatz Aug 6, 12:42 p.m.

    The smoker should be charged and thrown in prison for years to come.

    Bad enough that they inflict their cancerous noxious fumes on other people without having to worry about them burning down buildings because they can't be bothered to take the 5 seconds to properly dispose of a cancer stick.

  • mike275132 Aug 6, 11:40 a.m.

    Park Glen Drive in east Raleigh. is Section 8 rental housing not "condos". I passed on buying these properties due to tenants.

  • Pepe Silvia Aug 6, 10:05 a.m.

    Also, WRAL please take down the fourth picture. These people already potentially lost their home and belongings, they don't need a picture of themselves standing in their PJs/underwear put up for everyone to see.

  • Pepe Silvia Aug 6, 10:02 a.m.

    Good job, Tyrique Williams! You probably saved some lives with your quick thinking!!!

    I bet his parents won't be giving him any more grief for staying up late and watching TV!

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