Cigarette started Durham apartment fire that displaced 12
Posted March 12
Updated March 13
Durham, N.C. — At least 12 people were displaced Sunday following a fire at an apartment complex in Durham.
The fire broke out at the Crystal Village Apartments at 2620 Camellia Drive at about 3:35 p.m. Authorities said an improperly discarded cigarette smoldered and ignited nearby materials on a second floor balcony, causing the fire.
Nobody was injured, but residents were salvaging what they could and making plans for the night.
“I got a phone call and I was at work when it happened and she said the apartment was on fire, so the first thing that comes to mind, I’m thinking ‘where’s my baby at?’ But she said they were good, they were out of the house in the parking lot,” said Tommy Perkins.
Perkins and his family are among those who were displaced by the fire. Authorities said that the apartment where the fire started suffered severe damage while three other apartments suffered moderate smoke and water damage. Several other apartments lost power when the electric service to the building was cut.
"I pull up and I see a fire and I call 911. I started knocking on everybody's doors," said resident Crystal Talley.
Authorities said a firefighter from the Salisbury Fire Department happened to be on the scene when the fire started and did several initial searches and alerted residents inside the building to the fire.
Nine residents were getting help from the Red Cross Sunday night while others made plans to stay with relatives or friends.
Authorities said the family that lives in the unit where the fire started was not home at the time of the incident.