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Dozens homeless after accidental fire at north Raleigh apartments

Posted November 10, 2014
Updated November 11, 2014

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— The house shoes Jaimie Newsome wore outside her home were a few sizes too big, but they were among the few things she had as her north Raleigh apartment building burned Monday afternoon.

"I only grabbed my iPhone, my laptop and my purse," she said.

Newsome secured the items after a maintenance man yelled for residents to get to safety.

The shoes came from a neighbor.

Improperly discarded smoking material is to blame for a fire that damaged or destroyed a dozen homes at Cambridge Apartments, 725 Royal Anne Lane. The complex is just off Six Forks Road, north of Lynn Road.

The fire, which started at around 2:15 p.m., was contained to the second and third floors of one apartment building. No one was injured, but two dogs and a cat had to be resuscitated, officials said.

Newsome and other affected residents said they lost everything.

"Honestly, I've been surprisingly calm through this whole thing," she said. "It was a surreal experience. I'm sure it's going to hit me later and I'm going to start crying, but I haven't freaked out yet."

Apartment managers met with residents Monday night to provide food and offer assistance from the American Red Cross.

9 Comments

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  • Ginger Lynn Nov 11, 2014
    user avatar

    my son has a renters policy with an additional computer rider for $12 a month.

  • Arthur Raleigh Nov 11, 2014
    user avatar

    It was no accident when smokers throw Cigarittes out on the grounds.

  • Norman Lewis Nov 11, 2014
    user avatar

    Was the smoker that caused this mess the same type of person that throws lit cigarettes out of their car window on the highway into the path and possibly face of oncoming motorcyclists? Careless?

  • Fred Kozlof Nov 11, 2014
    user avatar

    Shame on the backwards NC building code. Our apartments continue to FAIL to have proper fire barriers between units. Further, smoking should not be allowed in such apartment complexes. THIS scenario repeats itself several times a year, year after year. As for the person who caused this....there should be legal consequences. There is for just about everything else.

  • bwtfwrkum Nov 11, 2014

    Renter's insurance...duh. It's super cheap who wouldn't get it?

  • LocalYokel Nov 11, 2014

    We all know the dangers of improperly discarding smoking material, smoking in bed, and the diseases caused by smoking therefore improperly discarded smoking material burning down a building is no "accident".

    Improperly discarded smoking material that burns down residences and endangers lives is a crime. The person responsible for this should be punished and this crime should not be broadcast as in the media as a nothing-we-could-do-to-prevent-this "accident" to people that improperly discard smoking material.

  • Janet Scott Nov 10, 2014
    user avatar

    Thanks to the people who saved the dogs and the cat!!

  • raphael27520 Nov 10, 2014

    Hope they had Renter's insurance to cover their belongings.

  • Big Mike Nov 10, 2014

    Glad to see on the news that all the pets trapped were rescued safely!