Local News

Fire Damages Cary Apartment Complex

Posted January 19, 2006

— Cindy Iacovella was sleeping in her apartment at about 3:30 a.m. Thursday when her puppy, Molly, woke her up.

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    "She was going out of control, so I woke up and looked up and my whole bedroom -- I saw this bright orange light. I looked out my deck and (there was) a complete wall of flames," Iacovella said.

    Iacovella ran out the apartment with Molly and a few possessions and knocked on other residents' doors to alert them about the fire.

    "I just ran out, started kicking doors, yelling, 'Fire!'" she said.

    Once firefighters arrived at Cary's Westover Hills apartment complex, firefighters did the same thing.

    "I woke up to fire, people banging on the doors," said Slate Jackson, one of the residents in the 24 apartments evacuated. "Then, me and my brother went out the back and saw flames shooting, literally, into the trees."

    Firefighters believe the fire started on the second floor of the apartment building in an exterior to the building, but have not yet determined the cause.

    All the apartment's residents escaped the fire uninjured, but authorities said a firefighter, Craig McDowell, was injured when part of the building structure fell on him. McDowell was taken to Rex Hospital and later released.

    Officials said 12 of the 24 units, including Iacovella's, were completely destroyed. The other 12 are still livable, but residents were not yet allowed back inside until water was restored.

    Apartment managers and the Red Cross are at the scene helping displaced residents.

    As for Iacovella, who got Molly just three weeks ago, she is staying with a friend, for now.

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