Durham, N.C. — Flames could be seen burning through the roof of a building at Springfield Apartments in Durham Friday afternoon. Black smoke billowed into the air and flames damaged at least a dozen units on the first, second and third floors of the multi-unit structure.
"The whole apartment was going up," said Eric Wyrick. He ran through the halls, beating on doors to alert his neighbors.
More than 40 firefighters battled the fire through the afternoon. One suffered a minor injury, according to Deputy Chief Dan Curia of the Durham Fire Department, but no residents of the building were hurt.
Many rushed out without grabbing any of their belongings. The Red Cross was providing food, shelter and clothing to the 34 residents who lost their homes.
Kevin Waters was able to save one precious souvenir. A firefighter found his basketball signed by Duke basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski. "This is all I have to my name right now," he said.
The apartment community, near the intersection of Martin Luther King Jr. and University drives, offers one- and two-bedroom units. According to the Springfield Apartments website, units rent for between $560 and $1,000, and the community includes tennis and raquetball courts, a swimming pool and a fitness center.