Local News

Early Morning Fire Hits Durham Apartments

Posted April 23, 2000

— Several families in Durham lost their homes in an early morning apartment fire. The blaze occurred in apartments on Bainbridge Drive, off Cornwallis Drive.

A woman in one of those apartments says her young daughter woke her up, announcing their apartment was on fire.

The tenant says she called 911, then tried to wake up her neighbors, but could not get a response.

When the firefighters arrived, they knocked down doors to get people out.

"I was brought out of bed by the sound of the firemen practically breaking down the door," says resident Carl Burgardt. "I didn't know anything was going on. The other two apartments were pretty much up in flames by that point."

No one was injured.

Investigators say the cause of the fire was electrical, and that the fire most likely started in a first-floor apartment, then traveled up the walls to the second floor.

Many residents like Amanda Parks did not haverenters insurance. She says she thought about it, but never got around to getting it.

"You don't think about stuff like this until it actually happens to you," she says. "I'm only a college student. Insurance wasn't the first thing on my mind."

Insurance agents say most people do not realize just how affordable renters insurance can be.

"When you talk about $12,000 worth of coverage for around $100 a year, it's very cost effective. It's money well spent," says Mike Porter, an insurance agent.

Even though many of her high-ticket items were not damaged in the fire, Parks says she will be getting the insurance at her next apartment. andMichelle Singer

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