Local News

Fire displaces residents of northern Wake County neighborhood

Posted March 23, 2010
Updated March 27, 2010

— Seven homes caught fire Tuesday evening along the 2800 block of Armadale Lane in northern Wake County.

Fire sweeps northern Wake County neighborhood Fire sweeps Wake County neighborhood

The fire started at about 7:15 p.m. in the Highland Creek neighborhood off Louisburg Road.

Fueled by gusty winds, the fire damaged four single-family homes and destroyed three others. At least 16 people were displaced, investigators said.

"They (the houses) were just going up almost like matchboxes, just one after another catching fire. All the grass, all around, was just spreading the fire from one house to the other," neighbor Bob Maglio said. "It was just really sad to see that."

People affected by the fire gathered with their neighbors at the subdivision's clubhouse.

“We're a close knit community and everybody gets along. It's just devastating for anyone to lose their home," neighbor Sonja Wade said.

Fire displaces residents in northern Wake County Fire displaces Highland Creek residents

Highland Creek resident Judy Barillari was in Greensboro Tuesday on business. Her family says her home appears to be a total loss.

"She very distraught (and) I think the big part that she is most disturbed about is the photos, memorabilia, things of that nature, that she has lost," said Dan Paner, Barillari's son-in-law. "Obviously, we don't know what is salvageable, and what's not salvageable right now."

No injuries were reported from the fire. The cause of the blaze remained under investigation.


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  • JustOneGodLessThanU Mar 24, 2010

    And the prize for the most times "god" or "prayer" were mentioned in one comment goes to.... mjlt3

    Remember, if there was a god, it chose to burn these houses and already knows what everyone is thinking. So, do you really think that your second-guessing will change its "mind"?

    Let's get real. :-) This is an unfortunate situation and I thank our firefighters, rescue personnel and other supportive humans for their altruistic efforts...putting their short lives in danger to help others.

    We should also thank the person who invented the smoke detector for possibly saving several lives here. Go Humans!

  • jamesgirl Mar 24, 2010

    Ambergail1: Here is a tip: In these stories everyone always says the thing they are most upset about is loosing pictures.

    We back our pics up once a year on a cd, write the year on it and drop it off in the safe deposit box at the bank. I know it's a pain, but at least you will still have your pictures...

    I to. have learned from others tragic loss on those precious memories you just can't get back. I've scanned every old photo I have and have stored on snapfish on an online album. In the event that something like was to happen to me. My heart goest out to the families.

    Also my husband and I was shocked to learn of this community with fire because its on our short list of communities to build our 2nd home.

  • dwarner3 Mar 24, 2010

    to the no.1 packfan, if you think they are close here, go to the beach [ Atlantic, ie] where beach houses are built within
    5 feet of the property line hence within 10 feet of neighbor talk about an inferno waitng to happen...zoning is all about how many structures can you cram into an area with no regard fore fire safety

  • tanicia Mar 24, 2010

    My father lives in this nieghborhood, and his home was left unharmed. We are praying for all of the families that are without their homes today. However we are so thankful that nobody was injured. I don't blame the builders, as these things do happen, and it just happened to be very windy and that just fueled the flames and spread the fire more. I hope that the families can find some peace. By a small prayer I hope that they can salvage important things that can't be replaced like pictures or video of family.

  • 1Packfan Mar 24, 2010

    It amazes me how homes are built so close to each other. We've been looking for a new home, and because of that, we're not looking in Raleigh. We've seen several houses in excess of 3000 sq. feet, sitting on lots taht are just over 6000 sq feet. Not even enough room to get a ladder in between houses should you have to paint.

    Luckily we found a neighborhood that (outside of Raleigh) that has lots of .3 acre or more.

    That being said - my heart goes out to all those that lost in that neighborhood. Have they determined the cause?

  • pulstar40 Mar 24, 2010

    I know several people over the years who have lost their homes to fire (houses, townhouse and apartments). Even though everyone was extremely thankful that no one got hurt, they have all said it takes months to get your life back in order, especially those who lost everything. The emotional upheaval is tough to bear, losing those items that are irresplaceable is heartwrenching. Insurance only goes so far. My heart goes out to these folks.

  • iamyeary Mar 24, 2010

    This is very unfortunate for these homeowners but it was 'mother nature' that spread the fire. If not for the high winds and dry pine straw, this fire would not have spread to the other houses.
    Most single family homes in this city are close together. Fire insurance will cover the things that can be replaced. No one lost their lives...this is a temporary set back. I'm sorry for your loss and photos that cannot be replaced....

  • TheseBootsWereMadeForWalking Mar 24, 2010

    Rural areas require more land (0.75 ac+) due to septic regulations.

  • TheseBootsWereMadeForWalking Mar 24, 2010

    Very sad.

    Another reason why I will never buy a house in a cramped neighborhood. I will sacrifice size of home before I sacrifice size of land.

  • imsosorry Mar 24, 2010

    It is funny in rural areas you have to have a whole acre to build on but in these high dollar sub-divisions you can spit gum from one house to another. I think the same rules should apply everywhere.