Local News

Investigators Rule Out Electrical Problems In Timberlyne Apartments Fire

Posted April 20, 2000

— Investigators have ruled out electrical problems in a Friday morning fire at Timberlyne Apartments in Chapel Hill that left more than a dozen residents homeless.

The fire started around 7 a.m. on a second floor balcony. Twelve apartments in one building were damaged; half of them may be destroyed. Many residents were left with just the clothes they were wearing.

Crews continue to look for clues in the complex,just off of Airport Road.

Investigators are trying to figure out exactly how the fast-moving fire started. They say they have ruled out electrical causes.

Investigators say smoke detectors and fire alarms were working in the building.

Residents say they woke up to chaos.

"I dialed 911 before I even knew what was going on," says resident Becky Spence. "I opened the door and saw flames."

Spence's apartment had only minor damage and firefighters saved both of her cats. Many other residents have lost everything.

"I feel really, really lucky," Spence says. "I look at that place and I can't even imagine what those people are going through right now."

An elderly woman was rescued from her top floor apartment.

One resident was taken to the hospital to be treated for possible smoke inhalation.

The American Red Cross was at the complex Friday morning to help people with food and clothing needs. Most of the residents say they will stay with family and friends.

Many of the residents did not haverenters' insurance.


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