Local News

Raleigh apartment fire displaces 20 residents

Posted July 19, 2011 5:47 p.m. EDT
Updated July 19, 2011 11:01 p.m. EDT

— About a dozen units were damaged in an apartment complex fire on Avent Ferry Road in Raleigh on Tuesday afternoon. 

The fire that broke out at Gorman Crossings, 3801 Gorman St., was caused by an electrical disconnect box in the air conditioning unit on the back of the building, fire officials said. 

There were no reports of injuries in the fire. One firefighter was taken from the scene in an ambulance for a back injury. 

"I didn't grab anything. I didn't even grab my shoes," fire victim Matt Church said of running from the blaze, which was reported just before 5:30 p.m. 

It took crews about 30 minutes to extinguish the fire. 

Firefighters rescued cats and other animals from the complex. 

"I really did not expect to see her again," Constance Starkey said of her 2-year-old cat, Sicily. 

When firefighters carried the cat out of the building, Starkey collapsed into her father's arms. 

"They are life-savers in every sense of the word," Starkey said. 

Sicily was treated with oxygen at the scene. 

Starkey has another cat whom she cannot find. Neighbors said they saw it run away. 

The American Red Cross is helping the 20 residents, including three children, who were displaced. 

Avent Ferry Road was closed between Gorman Street and Trailwood Drive for several hours as crews battled the blaze.