10 Families Lose Homes in Raleigh Apartment Fire
Posted December 20, 2006 2:53 p.m. EST
Updated December 21, 2006 6:40 a.m. EST
There were no reports of injuries, and firefighters rescued some pets from the apartments while battling the fire, they said.
Investigators believe the fire started in a utility room in a ventilation system clogged with leaves and other debris that ignited.
"The flue in its encasement acted like a chimney, advancing the fire into the attic space, where it spread rapidly," said Raleigh Fire Division Chief Rusty Styons.
Firefighters were able to control the fire by knocking holes in the roof to slot it down and to keep it from spreading.
Eighteen of the 24 apartments in the complex suffered fire, smoke or water damage in the two-alarm blaze.
The Red Cross helped families with food and clothing. Neighbors, such as Feydrella Pollard, were also helping out.
"It's Christmas," she said. "Everybody looks forward to gifts and stuff, and when you lose your home, it's sad. It's really sad – and it's cold tonight. I would want somebody to help me out, too."
For now, some residents are staying in hotels. Others have been relocated to vacant units in the same complex.