Local News

3 Jump From Burning Apartment Near N.C. State

Posted December 11, 2007 1:28 p.m. EST
Updated December 11, 2007 7:16 p.m. EST

— A man and two women, one of them pregnant, jumped to safety Tuesday afternoon when fire broke out in an apartment building near the campus of N.C. State University.

Keith Miller, a resident of the complex, said that his wife, Yvette Miller; his stepson Clarence Grubbs, and Grubbs' girlfriend, C.J. Pittman, all had to jump from an upper level.

At least eight engine companies, along with ladder companies and other support units, rushed to the College View Apartments at 1508 College View Ave. when the alarm was received about 1 p.m.

The building where Miller lived has six units, all of which were damaged by the fire he thinks he might have started by leaving the stove on when he went to do an errand.

"When I went to the store and come back, the whole house was on fire," Miller said.

Pittman is about four months pregnant, Miller said. She injured her ankle and was taken to Rex Hospital.

"Wake EMS was on the scene, gave medical care. All injuries are minor, thank goodness, at present," said Raleigh Fire Department Division Chief Rusty Styons.

"I'm just glad I made it out, that's all," said Danyelle Murdoch, a tenant and a Shaw University student.

Murdoch said the fire felt like a cruel joke because she transferred to Shaw after Hurricane Katrina destroyed her home.

"I'm from New Orleans, the Seventh Ward. I lost everything ... and then something like this happens,” she said.

Murdoch put the situation Tuesday in perspective, however.

“Five minutes after it happened, I was hysterical, but then I thought: ‘I'm breathing.’”

The rear of the building appeared to have suffered the most damage.

 Firefighters were trying to determine the exact cause of the fire and checked the building for structural damage.