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3 Jump From Burning Apartment Near N.C. State

Posted December 11, 2007

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— A man and two women, one of them pregnant, jumped to safety Tuesday afternoon when fire broke out in an apartment building near the campus of N.C. State University.

Keith Miller, a resident of the complex, said that his wife, Yvette Miller; his stepson Clarence Grubbs, and Grubbs' girlfriend, C.J. Pittman, all had to jump from an upper level.

At least eight engine companies, along with ladder companies and other support units, rushed to the College View Apartments at 1508 College View Ave. when the alarm was received about 1 p.m.

The building where Miller lived has six units, all of which were damaged by the fire he thinks he might have started by leaving the stove on when he went to do an errand.

"When I went to the store and come back, the whole house was on fire," Miller said.

Pittman is about four months pregnant, Miller said. She injured her ankle and was taken to Rex Hospital.

"Wake EMS was on the scene, gave medical care. All injuries are minor, thank goodness, at present," said Raleigh Fire Department Division Chief Rusty Styons.

"I'm just glad I made it out, that's all," said Danyelle Murdoch, a tenant and a Shaw University student.

Murdoch said the fire felt like a cruel joke because she transferred to Shaw after Hurricane Katrina destroyed her home.

"I'm from New Orleans, the Seventh Ward. I lost everything ... and then something like this happens,” she said.

Murdoch put the situation Tuesday in perspective, however.

“Five minutes after it happened, I was hysterical, but then I thought: ‘I'm breathing.’”

The rear of the building appeared to have suffered the most damage.

 Firefighters were trying to determine the exact cause of the fire and checked the building for structural damage.

32 Comments

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  • iamforjustice Dec 12, 2007

    I love Aunt Esther...I have a crush on her. What was the story about? I forgot...oh yeah....the burning building. Isn't this story something like the burning bed? Was it meant for the wife to survive? He left home and let the apratment burn down with the family inside. No one leaves a stove on accidentally. Trust me....I know.

  • wyheel Dec 11, 2007

    My wife used to live in the downstairs back apartment. There are no sprinklers, at least in her apartment.

  • clickclackity2 Dec 11, 2007

    Wow..I'm just suprised the Miller guy actually admitted to possibly causing the fire. You definitely don't see people taking responsibility for things that they do, even if it was an accident that left another person dead, i.e most of these car accidents and hit and runs on pedestrians.

  • DrunkSober Dec 11, 2007

    So what happened to the food on the stove in the apartment?If there waqs no food, could be he started the fire intentionally(insurance scam?)

  • aerochk87 Dec 11, 2007

    just glad every one & the ladies un born baby are ok

  • DrunkSober Dec 11, 2007

    Fred G Sanford and the G stands for Go away!

  • RWC Dec 11, 2007

    Keep building this dump out of combustible materials. Masonry doesn't burn! Seems like we get 3,4, 7 fires a week that involve apts.

  • playroyzway Dec 11, 2007

    some of you are so quick to make judgments about these people who have been through something in this apartment fire--implying they don't work for a living (maybe they work at night?), making fun of them for jumping, and calling them stupid.

    I lost my house and all of my belonging, and nearly my pet to a house fire in August that was not my fault....it was on the news, and I know WRAL covered it...I still get to see my house burn down on the news from time to time...I'm glad I never read what you guys had to say about me and my family. What milk of human kindness.

    may you never have to have your tragedies made so public to uncaring, judgmental people.

  • Adelinthe Dec 11, 2007

    So many of you cracking jokes and looking to place blame, it could happen to anyone you know.

    And the point of this story is that 5 adults and a baby are safe. The outcome could have been far worse.

    Thanking God for that.

    God bless.

    Rev. RB

  • djofraleigh Dec 11, 2007

    Fire in the kitchen, smoke in the rest of the house. A grease fire can choke you and blind you at the same time. If a house has sprinklers, I'm sure they would have a dry chemical extinguisher in the kitchen over the stove to stop grease from burning.

    Tell that step-son to marry the pregnant-by-a-future marriage girl so the child will have full commitment in its home. This fire and jump is a sign to 'get serious' for raising a child is as serious as a grease fire.

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