State News

3 Die in Raleigh Apartment Fire; 2 in Durham Blaze

Posted February 22, 2007
Updated February 23, 2007

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— Authorities found a 30-year-old man, a 26-year-old woman and a child dead in a fire at an apartment complex Thursday on Roselle Court, near New Bern Avenue. They were trying to find the whereabouts of a second child who lived in the apartment.

Earlier in the day, a brother and sister died in a house fire at 1005 Grant St., near North Carolina Central University. Firefighters found the two when they arrived shortly after 4 a.m., city spokeswoman Beverly B. Thompson said.

Thursday night, Raleigh detectives were trying to find out if the other child, who they said is 4½ years old, was with relatives.

Arson investigators set up a crime scene around the building and were looking for clues to how the fire began.

Raleigh Police Capt. Chris Bertram said they had determined "there was no bomb or other type of incendiary device involved."

The identities of the victims had not been released because next of kin had not been notified, Bertram said.

In Durham, Thompson identified the victims as Vera Ashe and Harry Ashe, Jr. a brother and sister. Vera Ashe died at the UNC Hospitals burn center. Her brother died earlier.

The fire was under investigation, but it began in a front living room and appeared to have been accidental as a result of smoking, Thompson said.

The Raleigh fire at the Pines of Ashton complex was reported at 3:03 p.m.

Firefighters discovered the fatalities when they entered the complex.

Other residents were forced from their apartments by smoke, but damage was largely contained to the unit where the three were found, police said.

During the investigation, however, residents were kept out.

"Everything we have is there. It's just me and him. That's all we have," said Bonita Long, who lives there with her 8-year-old son.

Police let her in to get medication for her son. She said that was when she realized it was her neighbor's apartment that caught fire.

"It breaks my heart to know that's who it was, because they were very friendly," Long said.

20 Comments

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  • bldegeorge Feb 22, 2007

    I THINK IT IS A BIT HINKEY THAT THERE ARE SO MANY FIRES IN ONE DAY IN SUCH A SHORT TIME FRAME. I PRAY THAT EVERYTHING TURNS OUT FOR THE BEST, AND IT IS NOT SOME SICKO.I HOPE THE LADY THAT LOST HER CATS WILL FIND THEM.

  • hollywood Feb 22, 2007

    yea..they have the right photo now but when they firt posted it, they had the same photo as the fire on capital which made it look like people died in that fire.

  • Bulldog22 Feb 22, 2007

    This photo is correct, this is the apartment complex near WakeMed off New Bern Ave. Raleigh Fire Dept battled 9 fires today as of 6pm.
    I pray that if this was a case of arson that the arsonist is caught and punished.

  • Lightfoot Feb 22, 2007

    Sad, tragic news.
    Praying for their resurrection.

  • mrcritic Feb 22, 2007

    I'm so sure that people will be able to tell where this is located by the picture. If you don't like this site then you've already spent too much time on it.

  • Say it to my face Feb 22, 2007

    This is why we moved out of our apartment - NO FIRE ESCAPE on the third floor!! It's insane. Very sad.

  • randdferguson Feb 22, 2007

    This is sad. My prayers go out to the families.

  • editor nc Feb 22, 2007

    It DOES matter. What if you had family living in that complex pictured, and thought they may have died. The editors on this website are horrible. Tuesday they reported a stabbing in Raleigh and that the accused was arrested on Monday for the assault.

  • jessicaoney Feb 22, 2007

    It don't matter if they have it right the only thing that matters is that people have lost their lives. And that is sad. May god bless the families of those people.

  • bldegeorge Feb 22, 2007

    THANK YOU I DON'T LIVE IN RALEIGH ANYMORE . I RELY ON THE WEB FOR THE NEWS AND MY FRIENDS THAT I HAVE THERE. THIS IS JUST TERRIBLE. I ALWAYS GO TO WRAL .COM TO GET THE NEWS. THANKS FOR KEEPING ME POSTED. GOD BLESS TO ALL.

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