Local News

Fire leaves dozens of Durham residents without home

Posted July 8, 2013

— More than three dozen people were without a home Monday afternoon after a fire engulfed an apartment complex in southwest Durham.

Photo courtesy Madeline Kearney Photos: Fire engulfs Royal Oaks Apartments

About 50 firefighters responded around 12:40 p.m. to the two-alarm blaze at Royal Oaks Apartments, at 3525 Mayfair St., where 18 apartments were destroyed and two others suffered smoke and water damage.

The Triangle Area Chapter of the American Red Cross said it is providing shelter, clothing, food and other emergency needs to the 35 to 40 people displaced from their homes and are trying to figure out what to do next.

It has set up a service center for assistance at 3708 Mayfair St., Suite 100.

Fire victims say they are relieved there were no injuries and credit one thoughtful resident for alerting them of the danger.

"I heard a fire alarm, but that happens occasionally, so I wasn't concerned," said Gregory Berry. "But then someone knocked on my door.”

By the time he answered, neighbor Paula Maybrey had moved on, making sure others knew about the fire.

"I just knocked on the doors and ran up and down the stairs, telling everyone there was a fire," she said. "I didn't want anybody to burn. It's bad."

Durham residents without home after apartment fire Durham residents without home after apartment fire

Maybrey was in another fire that damaged 10 units in the same complex in 2009.

Durham Fire Chief Dan Curia said Monday's case is still under investigation and that although he isn't sure what caused it, it likely started in a rear bedroom of a first-floor apartment.


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  • oriqinalqueen5 Jul 8, 2013

    This isn't the first fire in those apartments. I use to live their 6 years ago and a building caught on fire as well. The people in the office are rude and their really disorganized. Thank God no one was hurt ! && luck to the people go lost their homes.

  • lizzz38 Jul 8, 2013

    I remember another fire there in recent years. So sad and I pray for those who have lost everything. I know someone who lives there, and I know that family will be affected, even if that wasn't their specific building.

  • gingerlynn Jul 8, 2013

    I am glad no one was hurt. This is the fourth fire at the SAME complex in about 6 years. It is a firetrap and something needs to be done to close it down before someone dies.


  • stymieindurham Jul 8, 2013

    "Yeah, I know...these survivors cut into the investor's profits, so our new governor will repeal these measures too."

    Are you trying to say something? This, of course, makes no sense!!

  • thewayofthefuture Jul 8, 2013

    I saw this out the window at work today; very scary stuff. I'm glad no one was hurt. My thoughts are with those who have lost their homes.

  • GravyPig Jul 8, 2013

    Wow! that thing really went up in flames.