Local News

Apartment fire offers hard lessons for Raleigh renters

Posted February 20, 2019 8:07 p.m. EST
Updated February 20, 2019 10:27 p.m. EST

A resident of Raleigh’s Enclave at Crossroads apartment complex is missing a pet and living with donated furniture one week after she and many others lost everything in a fire.

It’s been one week since 16 units were damaged in a fire at the complex. Amber Ricker, who had lived in her apartment for two years, lost some things that are irreplaceable.

“We have nothing left from that, and my father’s ashes were in there, and I cannot salvage them,” she said.

Ricker is also still looking for one of her cats, who went missing following the fire.

“I’m hoping that she does return,” she said. “We won’t be surprised if she doesn’t, but if she does it will literally be a miracle.”

Ricker said bills are piling up as her other cat recovers from burns at a local animal hospital.

“It’s $1,000 every day at the vet. I just want him home. That’s all I care about is my cat,” she said.

Last week wasn’t the first time a building at the Enclave apartment complex caught fire. It also happened in 2011.

During last Wednesday’s fire, strong winds allowed the fire to spread to an attic space that did not have fire walls. After firefighters aggressively fought the flames inside, the building became unsafe and they were forced to fight it from outside and from above.

Ricker said she doesn’t blame the apartment complex, but the fire will change the way she looks for an apartment in the future.

“It would come into play if I did eventually get another apartment, to consider what fire safety they have in the apartment,” she said.

Ricker is one of many residents who were moved into an empty unit in the apartment complex following the fire. The apartment is filled with donated clothing and furniture, and Ricker said the generosity of others has kept her smiling.

“Just to see the outpouring of love from people, strangers that I didn’t know, has been a truly transforming experience. It’s been so touching to me,” she said