Fayetteville, N.C. — Firefighters and State Bureau of Investigation agents spent Thursday sifting through the ashes at a Fayetteville condominium complex to determine what caused a fire late Wednesday.
Authorities said the blaze broke out at the Briarcliff Condominium complex, at 1878 Tryon Drive, at about 10 p.m. Windy conditions helped the two-alarm fire spread quickly.
"It just seemed like it came out of nowhere," resident Kevin Pittman said. "I mean, it started real small, and all of a sudden, it just shot up the wall and up to the roof and went from there."
Fire crews said residents were still leaving the building as they went rushing in.
"I heard someone beating at my door, woke up. My wife started screaming, 'There's a fire,'" resident Duane Childress said. "We ran out. There was fire dripping all over me."
The fire destroyed eight units in the complex, but no injuries were reported.
Marley, a mixed-breed dog, was found wandering in the parking lot after the fire, but she was reunited with Childress, her owner, a few hours later.
The soldier and his comrades helped him carry out bags of clothes and a little boy's bike with training wheels.
Pittman, who lost his job last month, said he was glad he was able to salvage some of his clothes and furniture and that the fire wasn't worse.
"I'm thankful that everybody got out alive – didn't lose anybody, didn't lose any pets," he said.
Investigators said the fire likely started in a second-floor condo, but they haven't determined a cause.
The American Red Cross provided the 13 displaced residents hotel rooms for several nights.