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Fire hits north Raleigh apartments

Posted September 5, 2011

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— Improperly discarded smoking material caused a one-alarm fire that tore through a north Raleigh apartment building early Monday and displaced four people, fire investigators said.

The fire broke out shortly before 5:30 a.m. on the balcony of a third-story apartment in a three-story building in The Village Apartment Homes, 8800 Autumn Winds Drive, firefighters said. The blaze spread to a storage unit, but sprinklers helped contain it.

Four homeless after north Raleigh apartment fire Four homeless after north Raleigh apartment fire

Felicia Laws-Hinton, who lives beneath the third-story apartment, said she was awakened by the smell of smoke.

"I got up to look around my apartment, and as I went to my living room, I saw a little smoke. I looked out on my balcony, and I saw that the balcony above me was on fire," Laws-Hinton said. "But I'm glad I woke up because it could have been worse."

Residents called 911 about the fire, and approximately 30 firefighters labored to bring the blaze under control in 20 minutes, according to the incident report.

No one was injured by the blaze, but the third-story apartment had fire damage, and the second- and first-story units had water damage. Four people told WRAL News that their apartments were so damaged that they can't live there anymore.

Police said the residents of the third-story apartment weren't home when the fire started.

14 Comments

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  • Lissa13082 Sep 7, 2011

    " I FIRMLY believe that if somebody owns a place of business and wants to allow smoking in their establishment, they should be allowed. HOW DARE any government tell a business owner they cannot allow smoking; this law should be removed as it was put in place by Fascists!"

    I personally enjoy not smelling smoke while I'm trying to enjoy a meal. Or go home smelling like a cigarette. I'm NOT a Bev supporter, but I am GLAD she put that law into place, it was the ONLY thing positive she's done so far!

  • kittzrkewl Sep 6, 2011

    Hm, give Meeker et.al long enough, they will out-law or tax all sugar products, all fast foods, all coffee shops, and anything else anybody enjoys. Come on people, wake-up, these people want to tell you how to live your life!

    As for smokers, my dad died of COPD, after having smoked 3 packs a day most of his life. I grew-up in second hand smoke and I suffered no ill effects from it and he was the only smoker. I FIRMLY believe that if somebody owns a place of business and wants to allow smoking in their establishment, they should be allowed. HOW DARE any government tell a business owner they cannot allow smoking; this law should be removed as it was put in place by Fascists!

  • lizard78 Sep 6, 2011

    Cigarettes today go out if you don't inhale on them constantly.

    This is true. I am a smoker and I have to relight cigarettes often. I can't understand how a fire could start from cigarettes anymore. It just doesn't make sense.

  • justbekind Sep 5, 2011

    Interesting. Cigarettes today go out if you don't inhale on them constantly. Raleigh seems to have a large number of fires caused by Improperly discarded smoking material and they seem to be detected within hours. Yet other fires seem to take quite a bit longer to discover their cause. I guess it's just easier to blame cigarettes. Since there is no bias there. Just saying. BTW I am not a smoker and never have been.

  • snowl Sep 5, 2011

    Smoking does not benefit anyone at anytime. Sorry for their loss. Get renter's insurance too!

  • DontLikeTheSocialistObama Sep 5, 2011

    Glad it wasn't the pine straw.

    Now that Meeker has outlawed pine straw and almost outlawed garbage disposals, cigarettes will be next.

  • Lissa13082 Sep 5, 2011

    This story is wrong! The residents WERE home!!! Poor girl looked so scared, I felt so bad for her. They were able to get themselves and their animals out safely. She just stood there watching her apartment be engulfed in flames. It was a very scary morning for everyone of us in that building.

  • Dr. Obvious Sep 5, 2011

    This entire complex should be raised because third hand smoke has become the new second hand smoke.

  • corey3rd Sep 5, 2011

    smokers proving once more why it's a vice that effects more than their lungs.

  • MyNameIsMud Sep 5, 2011

    "If the residents were not home who's cigarette was it?"

    An ashtray can smolder for hours. I had to knock on a neighbor's door once to tell them about their ash tray full of cigarette butts that was hot and melting the vinyl siding. That was a fire that almost happened.

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