Fire leaves dozens of Durham residents without home
Posted July 8, 2013
Durham, N.C. — More than three dozen people were without a home Monday afternoon after a fire engulfed an apartment complex in southwest Durham.
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."
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.