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Faulty furnace pumps smoke from downtown Raleigh building

Posted February 9, 2009
Updated March 9, 2009

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— A faulty furnace sent smoke pouring from the roof of a county-owned office building in downtown Raleigh Monday, bringing out firefighters and prompting an evacuation of the building.

Several 911 callers said they saw smoke suspended above the high-rise building at 336 Fayetteville St. shortly after noon. Smoke poured through the chimney, making it appear as if the building were on fire, Wake County officials said.

Downtown fire_02 Sky 5 footage smoke from downtown Raleigh building

Firefighters evacuated workers from the building at 12:25 p.m. and closed streets in the area as a precaution. Workers were allowed back in around 1 p.m.

Firefighters determined that a contractor performing routine maintenance on a boiler caused the smoke. Officials said that there was no fire and no one was injured.

"Wake County would like to commend the city of Raleigh Fire Department for their excellent response to this incident. Their preparedness and emergency response plan to high-rise events was well-executed," Sarah Williamson, a public affairs manager for the county, said in a release.

The building is owned by Wake County and houses the county Board of Elections. It is across the street from the Wake County Jail and Courthouse.


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  • mjjunk Feb 9, 2009

    Hopefully they will use this as a learning experience from which they can draw up better ways to respond to a real incident downtown.

  • micah Feb 9, 2009

    Seriously, when does cleaning the fire-side of a boiler cause such a ruckus? It was smoke coming from a CHIMNEY.

  • Pseudonym Feb 9, 2009



  • 1Packfan Feb 9, 2009

    I work in the BB&T building downtown, and was walking to grab lunch at Chic-fil-A when all this was going down. There were about 5 fire trucks, at least 2 ambulances, the EMS Major Ops Support vehicle and multiple police cars. Lots of ammo to fight a fire, but I couldn't see anything from the buidling - and at that point (probably between 12, and 12:15) nobody had been evacuated yet - still saw lots of people in the buidling look out of windows.

    Thankfully it was nothing too serious, and the first responders did a great job of controllign things downtown- manuveing vehicles, and keeping onlookers out of the way.

  • wcnc Feb 9, 2009

    And this was breaking news because???

  • Weaker Pelosi Feb 9, 2009

    That building is like 400 years old.

  • Iworkforaliving Feb 9, 2009

    the roof, the roof, the roof is on......oh I'll just shut up now.