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Apartment dweller started fire with ashes

Posted December 28, 2011

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— Fire and smoke tore through a Raleigh apartment building, The Enclave at Crossroads, damaging six apartments Wednesday morning. No one was injured.

The blaze began shortly before 11:30 a.m. at 1712 Crossroads Arbor Way, which is near Crossroads Plaza. At least 10 fire trucks and 65 firefighters responded to the scene as smoke billowed out of the building's roof.

Resident Scott Denny said the fire started after he took some ashes out of his fireplace and put them in a cardboard box on his balcony.

"We had some ashes out on the porch and came back and it was completely engulfed. I guess the wind had caught them,"  he said. "I mean, I checked them. They looked OK. I stomped on them. I should have put water on them, obviously, but I didn't."

After returning from a restaurant, Denny saw smoke coming from his apartment complex. His unit, along with five others, were damaged – two by fire and four by water. His 22-year-old girlfriend, Erin Grogan, was inside the apartment when the fire started.

"Next thing you know, the whole porch was engulfed in flames, so I called 911," she said. "It's tragic. I just feel bad for Scott and his brother, because they saw their house burn down (when) they were kids. Now this, so it's sad."

The Red Cross is helping residents whose apartments were damaged in the fire.

Fire rips through Raleigh apartments Firefighters battle Raleigh apartment fire

69 Comments

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  • avnvideo Dec 30, 12:26 p.m.

    Did anyone ever see the firemen who did the show on wral,if u have a grease fire or stove fire ,they were showing people putting a fire out with an extinguisher ,only for it to relight because they left the burner on or did not put a lid on the pot.

  • avnvideo Dec 30, 12:23 p.m.

    as Barney Fife would say" dumb,dumb,dumb" ashes in a cardboard or even a plastic container?? Hellooooooo

    Resident Scott Denny said the fire started after he took some ashes out of his fireplace and put them in a cardboard box on his balcony.

    "We had some ashes out on the porch and came back and it was completely engulfed. I guess the wind had caught them," he said. "I mean, I checked them. They looked OK. I stomped on them. I should have put water on them, obviously, but I didn't."

    After returning from a restaurant, Denny saw smoke coming from his apartment complex. His unit, along with five others, were damaged – two by fire and four by water. His 22-year-old girlfriend, Erin Grogan, was inside the apartment when the fire started.

    "Next thing you know, the whole porch was engulfed in flames, so I called 911," she said. "It's tragic. I just feel bad for Scott and his brother, because they saw their house burn down (when) they were kids. Now this, so it's sad."

  • dixiechic Dec 29, 11:42 a.m.

    Here's your sign

  • GravyPig Dec 29, 10:49 a.m.

    Buckets?? Really no apartment should have a fireplace unless all tennents are fully trained on how to use and maintain it. The general public can be really clueless when it comes to common sense things or may not have had the experiences that some of us have had. I hope the folks affected by this can recover soon, and the poor guy who caused it will have to live with the shame and emabarasment of what he has done. He has learned a lesson, it is a shame that this lesson cost so much.

  • superman Dec 29, 10:31 a.m.

    Furnish buckets? Make them buy buckets? How about requiring an IQ test? How about a fire extinguisher? You cant do anything with people who do not have good judgment or some "common sense". I would never put a metal bucket of ashes on a wooden deck. So even having a metal bucket it is not a good idea. You ever put a hot pan on a kitchen counter? Put the ashes in a metal bucket, then add water and then place it on concrete, bricks or anything that will not get hot and ignite. He was not very smart to say what he did. He is going to have a lot of lawsuits because of what he did especially since he has admitted his guilt.

  • leecountymama Dec 29, 9:41 a.m.

    I know accidents happen and I'm so thankful no one was hurt as most "things" can be replaced....praying for common sense in this situation. Wow.

  • Uhavenoclu Dec 29, 9:34 a.m.

    Now some will see why I made the comment I did when the story first showed.
    Before you condemn people or criticize get the story.For don't forget there was someone who was ridiculed and criticized by many who didn't get the truth and they put him up on some cross.
    Some people can't handle the truth so they lie to themselves and others.

  • DeathRow-IFeelYourPain-NOT Dec 29, 9:15 a.m.

    cindy13: "I think that the apartment complex manangement companies where there are fireplaces, should supply each unit with a galvanized fire ash bucket when the residents take occupancy or advise tenant's that it is a requirement."

    Hindsight is 20/20. I totally agree with your post. You're not talking about a large expense to do this. Except, many homeowners would just use the bucket for something else and not have it available when needed. I won't comment on how this fire started. Its VERY obvious to everyone what SHOULD NOT have happened.

  • Frank Downtown Dec 29, 9:00 a.m.

    Ashes in a card board box on a wooden deck? No danger there! Ha!

  • krazikatt2 Dec 29, 8:31 a.m.

    I would suspect that the apartment complex would require suitable containers be purchased in the future as par to fthe renter's agreement. At least that is what I would do.

    Glad no one was injured. This could have been much more tragic.

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