RALEIGH, N.C. — Five families are homeless after fire ripped through the walls of a North Raleigh apartment complex Friday evening.
Residents of of the Cumberland Cove Apartments complex, at 7311 Brookmont Drive, came home to flames and the flashing lights of emergency crews early Friday evening.
"I thought my little brother was in there and I got so scared," said Monique McLaughlin, a victim of the fire.
No one was hurt, but the fire did extensive damage to five apartments in the complex.
"You see it happen to other people. You don't think it will happen to you, but it just let you know it can," said Vicky Jenkins, who arrived home from running some errands to find her apartment ablaze.
Resident Sami Hussaini was taking a nap about 5 p.m. when he smelled smoke.
"I immediately go out on the balcony and see smoke coming up from the apartment outside," Hussaini said.
As he fled his apartment, Hussaini said he found the fire was closer than he could have imagined.
"I went into the kitchen and start smelling it more, and go into the washer and dryer room and see it coming from inside the wall itself," he said.
Raleigh fire officials said the fire may have started inside a clothes dryer vent on the third floor.
The blaze is the second fire at a local apartment complex this week.
Officials said managers for Cumberland Cove have placed the displaced residents in empty apartments. The American Red Cross was also at the scene to assist victims.