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Fire damages eight Raleigh condos

Posted April 1, 2011

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— A large fire caused the attic of a condominium building in Raleigh to collapse Friday morning, damaging the homes of 15 people.

Raleigh firefighters said they were called to the fire at Martinique Condos, at 4505 Edwards Mill Road, at 9:19 a.m. Winds helped the fire spread, but crews brought it under control quickly.

One elderly person had to be helped from the building, and firefighters also rescued several cats and dogs. No injuries were reported.

Firefighters said the blaze started in an upstairs unit and moved into the attic. A firewall prevented the blaze from crossing into the other half of the 16-unit building.

Bonnie Hankel said she rushed to the scene after receiving a chilling call from her 89-year-old sister.

“She and her daughter live there, and she said, ‘The building’s on fire,’” Hankel said. 

The attic collapsed into two condos, and six others sustained smoke and water damage.

Hankel credits firefighters for helping her family to safety. She said the back wall of her sister's apartment is gone.

The building had smoke alarms but no sprinklers, firefighters said.

Joseph Havrern, who lives across the street, said he was awakened by his dog barking and smoke alarms going off.

Raleigh condos damaged in fire Raleigh condos damaged in fire

"The flames were well above the trees when I got out here. There were only a few trucks at that point. It was definitely not a small fire by any means," Havrern said. 

The cause of the fire was determined to be improperly discarded smoking material, fire officials said.  Firefighters said no one was at home in the condo where the fire started.

The Red Cross is helping the displaced people find homes.

This is the second major fire at an apartment or condominium complex in Raleigh this week.

On Wednesday, firefighters battled a blaze for an hour at Cedar Springs Apartments on Spring Forest Road. The fire started in the attic of a 12-unit building and caused the roof to collapse.


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  • newsmonkey Apr 5, 2011

    "Raleighs a bigger place now so more fires, more murders more everything"

    Don't know about fires, but I think the overall crime rate is down since 2000, in spite of a 46% increase in population. And there were only 14 murders in 2009, compared to 34 in 2008 and 23 in 2007. Stats for 2010 not available yet, far as I can tell. But just wanted to point out that more people doesn't necessarily mean more crime in Raleigh. http://www.city-data.com/city/Raleigh-North-Carolina.html

  • corey3rd Apr 1, 2011

    Everything can be cured by concealed weapons - they make us a more secure society!

  • lestergillis Apr 1, 2011

    corey3rd...I bet the fire was Bush's fault too wasn't it?

  • a-moment-of-truth Apr 1, 2011

    I am a Raleigh native and Martinique units indeed were built as APARTMENTS. If I am not mistaken the long time owner and manager of them was Drucker and Falk. So if they are NOW individually owned...and you want to CALL them condos...fine. But they were originally apartment units.

    Good luck to all the displaced.

  • corey3rd Apr 1, 2011

    if only the home owners had concealed weapons, they could have shot the flames dead

  • venitapeyton Apr 1, 2011

    As mentioned by a few, these condos are generally owner-occupied, so their homeowner's insurance would support moving expenses, etc while being repaired. Unless the condo rules state otherwise, some could be occupied by renters.

  • lma1973 Apr 1, 2011

    So many brime fires this year. Its worse than any year i can ever remember. Then again, i think they laid down about 50,000 more tons of the stuff than they ever have before as well. Thanks DOT and WRAL!!

  • shortcake53 Apr 1, 2011

    What is up with apt. fires lately? This is the third in a row.

  • annemarek Apr 1, 2011

    One comment a reader wrote was-who built these anyway?” I too live in a townhouse and was short in stopping a fire when an electrician checked out the wiring to my air conditioner. Inside the wall outside was already evidence of burning. Yes, I suspect the builders who hire cheap untrained labor. Yes, there should be inspectors for these houses that are built quickly and with sloppy work.

  • Crankyone Apr 1, 2011

    Wait a minute if the all powerful Meeker outlawed Pine Straw, there should be no house, condo or trailer fires. I bet it was George Bush's fault.