Local News

Listen: Firefighter radio documents historic fire

Posted March 17

— Firefighters spent about three hours late Thursday and early Friday gaining control over the biggest fire in downtown Raleigh since the 1920s.

At five alarms, around 15 fire engines, 130 firefighters and five ladders were on the scene throughout the night.

Shortly after arriving, firefighter radio traffic suggested a growing concern and a growing army of first-responders and equipment.

"We're not going to be able to stop this," one firefighter said. "We need RPD to shut now two blocks in all directions from the address."

A large crane lost stability in the intense heat.

"We've got a sky crane involved right now," a first-responder said.

'"Crane's coming down! Crane's coming down!"

The fire started lifting large embers into the air, spreading fire to other buildings.

"The crane came down," another said. "It looks like it fell on another building. I have not been able to see if it's landed on anyone."

A firefighter in a nearby building announced over the scanner that the fire then was beginning to look under control.

"It's being extinguished at this time. We're getting it under control."

"I'm on the eighth floor now. I'm looking at the fire building directly north, and it looks like everything is contained in your fire building."

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