Local News

Cigarette Blamed In Raleigh Townhouse Fire

Posted June 28, 2004 7:49 a.m. EDT

— An early-morning fire at a Raleigh townhome complex left at least two people homeless Sunday, destroyed one of the units and damged at least two others.

According to fire investigators, the fire at the Quail Ridge Townhomes, on Quail Ridge Road, was reported just after 8 a.m. A brother and sister, both the age of 20, jumped from a second-story window to escape the fire.

"It was too hot to go downstairs, so they jumped out the windows," said Division Chief James Poole of the Raleigh Fire Department.

Investigators believe a burning cigarette dropped in a living room chair caused the fire. The townhome was completely destroyed. Townhomes on either side of it suffered serious damage.

Firefighters said the parking lot hampered efforts.

"Our big trucks were not able to fully maneuver into this area, so we weren't able to utilize them the best way we could," Poole said.

Instead of spraying water on the fire from the big trucks, firefighters had to carry hoses inside the townhome by hand.

The Red Cross said it was helping the families on either side of the destroyed townhome. Residents of the destroyed townhome are staying with relatives.

Investigators say it took about 6 hours for fire to engulf the townhome.