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Fire forces Raleigh mayor from home

Posted August 31, 2009
Updated September 1, 2009

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— Raleigh Mayor Charles Meeker and his wife, Dr. Anne McLaurin, were staying with friends Tuesday after an electrical fire damaged their house at 324 S. Boylan Ave.

Although the fire was contained to a storage room, the 2,831-square-foot home sustained smoke damage. The incident report said about 10 percent of the home was damaged.

The mayor said he was eating dinner at about 9 p.m. and had some power surges. It was then that he realized his home was on fire.

"I went into the television room, and I could see smoke and flames in the adjoining storage room. I opened the door and the flames shot up," Meeker said.

A student whom McLaurin tutors was visiting at the time and made the call to 911. Meeker said he doesn't know why the student identified himself as "Charles" to a dispatcher.

Firefighters saw light smoke coming from the house when they arrived, and 25 firefighters brought the flames under control in 13 minutes, according to the incident report.

Meeker said he is grateful he was home at the time and that the fire, which likely started at an electrical outlet, was quickly extinguished.

No one was injured in the fire.


This story is closed for comments.

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  • Ladder1 Sep 2, 2009

    Mr PublicSafety is correct, you folks have no idea what we do, or what we've seen. No, 25 members is not overkill, it's what goes to any fire in the city, from the projects of Walnut Terrace to the beautiful homes of Wakefield; 3 engine companies, 1 ladder company, 1 rescue company and a battalion chief (that's 19 members on a good day) and then a safety unit, air truck and another chief if it's a "working incident" (that's another 6 on a good day); so the total is 25, no matter where in the city.

    So before those that have NO IDEA how things run within the RFD begin to judge, this is how things are for the day to day operations. There's no special "call class" at dispatch that says "this is the Mayor's house, send extra help".

    We don't tell you how to do what you do, so don't criticize us for what we do. Just know if your house catches fire, you'll want the same amount of people there to go to work.

  • Karmageddon Sep 2, 2009

    So, Mr Publicsafety, are you another one of those people who are all for freedom of speech as long as it agrees with what you think?

  • publicsafety1 Sep 1, 2009

    Well said Firecaptain!!! Well said. It is almost past the point of entertaining to read all of these posts from the all knowing members of the GOLO world. Many seem to be an authority on EVERYTHING!!!! Don't believe me? Just search the story about the officer involved shooting of the UNC student last week. I said it then and I'll say it again to those posters who seem to KNOW EVERYTHING...Until you have spent a week or heck, just a day, in the shoes of those of us in public safety (FIRE,EMS,POLICE)just say "thank you for what you do" and then keep your mouth shut because your opinion doesn't matter!!!

  • firecaptain2000 Sep 1, 2009

    Not counting EMS or RPD...RFD's minimum staffing for this type of call is 19 firefighters and 24 if fully staffed. These numbers account for safety and rapid intervention teams that are on scene solely to protect and rescue downed firefighters, not fight the actual fire. I would prefer our minimum to be 24 which would raise our fully staffed number to 32 firefighters. IT TAKES AN AVERAGE OF 12 FIREFIGHTERS TO RESCUE JUST 1 DOWNED FIREFIGHTER. We do NOT have the option to call 911 if the situation sours. We have to arrive prepared for our worst case scenario...responding with adequate personnel, equipment and the attitude that we're there to get the job done and send everyone home at shift change! Those of you sitting behind an office desk, blogging, need to be reminded that this is dangerous, labor intensive work under extreme temperatures. Your comments would have been better stated in the form of a question, rather than from viewpoint that you seem to know more than the experts.

  • Karmageddon Sep 1, 2009

    Imagine the embaressement if the mayors house had burned down.......

  • Adelinthe Sep 1, 2009

    Some of the commentors here boggle the mind.

    How many firefighters would you be grateful to show up if your house was on fire???

    Be thankful no one was hurt, and quit whining about how many showed up.

    God bless.


  • jrfergerson Sep 1, 2009

    that is a true shame

  • DontLikeTheSocialistObama Sep 1, 2009

    My neighbors house caught fire and most of the 2nd story burned a few years ago.

    I don't remember more than 8 or 10 firefighters showing up.

    Seems that with the current budget situation, the response to the fire at the Mayors house was excessive.

    Also, someone needs to have the Raleigh building codes inspector, inspect the Mayors house to make sure that it meets code.

  • olsaltydog Sep 1, 2009

    Cause of fire is electrical? How about a flaming liberal living there as the cause?

  • EyesintheSkies Sep 1, 2009

    I hope the fire didn't start due to a faulty garbage grinder installation in his kitchen sink.
    How much water did they use fighting the fire? I hope we don't have another shortage because of this event. We'll have to raise water rates again.