Massive fire engulfs downtown Raleigh apartments near Glenwood South
Posted March 16
Updated March 24
Raleigh, N.C. — An apartment building under construction in downtown Raleigh was engulfed in flames Thursday night.
The five-story building at West Jones and North Harrington Streets caught fire just after 10 p.m. The building is adjacent to the Glenwood South restaurant and bar district.
The fire had escalated to a five alarm blaze by 11 p.m. Emergency crews stayed on the scene throughout the night.
Nearby buildings and residents were evacuated on Thursday night, according to the Raleigh Police Department.
About 250 customers were without power Thursday night and there were reports of power lines that caught fire. Jeff Brooks with Duke Energy said that crews were on the scene at about 12:30 a.m. and were awaiting instructions from fire personnel to begin restorations. He said crews are working to switch many customers to different power lines to get service restored.
Barry Porter with the Red Cross said the organization opened their offices at 100 Pear Tree Lane. Those affected by the fire can come to the office or call 919-231-1602 for assistance. According to Porter, volunteers are standing by at the Holiday Inn and Hampton Inn in downtown Raleigh. Porter said at least 40 people from the Quorum Center and The Link Apartments are being helped at those locations.
West North Street remains closed as emergency crews continue to work the scene. Capital Boulevard is closed between Wade Avenue and Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, and Glenwood Avenue is closed between Wade Avenue and West Morgan streets as a result of the fire. The streets are expected to remain closed until 4 a.m.
The fire spread to another high-rise building on Thursday night, forcing residents to evacuate. Flames and embers were also affecting the roofs of several nearby buildings.
"It's sad is what it is. I'm hoping that the whole block isn't on fire," said one resident near the fire.
Another resident said that he saw a parking deck catch fire and then heard about 10 to 15 explosions.
"It's incredible the amount of buildings that are burning over there. There are cars that are burning up on the parking deck and exploding and I've never seen anything like this before," another man said.
An explosion was also reported at a parking deck on Harrington and West streets.
At least three buildings on McDowell Street were affected by the fire. There were reports that several buildings at the intersection of Harrington and West streets were destroyed by the fire.
A crane from a construction site impacted by the fire also collapsed.
The building that caught fire is next door to the Link at Glenwood South apartment buildings. It was unclear if that building was affected.
The owner of Clouds Brewing at 126 North West Street said he and several other businesses were asked to evacuate.
Water was being thrown on many nearby buildings to prevent the fire from spreading further.
The cause of the fire is under investigation.