Residents Jump to Safety in Duke Manor Fire
Posted June 23, 1998 7:00 a.m. EDT
DURHAM — An overnight fire has left 20 people without a place to stay. The blaze broke out at the Duke Manor apartments about 3:20 Wednesday morning.
There were some terrifying moments at Duke Manor Wednesday morning as fire spread through eight apartments. Residents were trapped by smoke and flames and were forced to jump out third story windows. Bendu Roberts had to throw her three-year-old daughter out the window to safety.
"My fire alarm went off, and I went outside," Roberts explains. "As soon as I opened my door, there was a cloud of smoke everywhere. I couldn't even see. I tossed my daughter through the window from the third floor. My aunt went jumping after her."
The fire could have been a lot worse, as the flames spread very quickly through the attack of the older apartment building. Most of the residents took the initiative to escape themselves. One group of Duke students were lucky to have a fire ladder given to them by their parents.
The responding fire department managed to get the blaze under control in about ten minutes. The cause of the fire is thought to be electrical.