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Grill Blamed for Raleigh Apartment Fire

Posted December 5, 2007
Updated December 6, 2007

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— Fire investigators say a barbecue grill caused a fire that damaged an entire apartment building.

When crews arrived at the Regatta at Lake Lynn apartment complex at about 7:15 p.m. Wednesday, they found the two-story building located at 6904 River Run engulfed in flames.

"I was just taking the garbage out and I saw what I thought was a little ground fire," said witness Ken Ingraham. "Then I came down the stairs and came around the corner and saw that it was not just a little ground fire, that the apartment was on fire and the fire was going up the side of the building. By the time I got completely outside, the second apartment above the first floor was totally engulfed."

"We got a call that there was a fire and we had to come over and get our dog out, and we got here and didn't know what was going on," witness Ray Irvine said.

Firefighters rescued Irvine's dog and returned it to him. The black Dachshund was drenched and smelled like smoke, but was otherwise OK.

The blaze damaged eight units. Four others sustained smoke and water damage. One person suffered minor burns and was taken to a nearby hospital.

Fire department officials have given an official cause of the fire, but a chief on the scene said a preliminary investigation pointed to a grill being used outside on the first floor.

The Red Cross was called to help residents displaced by the fire.