Local News

Raleigh Rooming House Burns

Posted October 5, 1996 12:00 a.m. EDT

— Firefighters will be probing the remains of a blaze that destroyed the roof of an unoccupied rooming house across from the North Carolina State University campus about 5 p.m. Friday.

There were no injuries in the fire, which was so intense by the time firefighters arrived that a search of the building had to be called off. Four fire engines, two trucks with aerial hose buckets and 30 firefighters were needed to bring the blaze under control in about an hour.

The fire closed Hillsborough Street for several hours.

Kinko's Copy Center is next door. A passerby ran into the store to tell clerks to call 911.

"It went from nothing to smoke filling the parking lot in about a minute," according to Gardner Prabel, who spotted the fire.

The abandoned house had been easy to enter from the rear, and was known by homeless men. At times, they harassed Kinko's employees. "It's been a real eyesore. We're glad to see it go," said Kinko assistant manager Jim Bury.

Kinko's closed during the fire, which worried some students who were concerned that their college work might be lost if the blaze spread. The store reopened for business Friday night at 8:30.