Massive fire engulfs Raleigh apartment building under construction

A large fire engulfed a building under construction in downtown Raleigh, N. C. Thursday evening, March 16, 2017. A statement from the Raleigh Police Department says preliminary information indicates there were no injuries.

(2017, The News and Observer)

RALEIGH, N. C. – Firefighters have a massive late-night fire that engulfed an apartment building under construction in North Carolina, the capital, authorities said early Friday.

Preliminary information shows there were no injuries, said Raleigh police spokeswoman Laura Hourigan. The fire started shortly after 10 a.m., Thursday in the building in the center of Raleigh, a city in the eastern part of the state.

The flames ignited the surrounding vegetation and the proliferation of utility poles. It is unclear whether the surrounding buildings were affected.

Local media organizations reported that the residents of the nearby apartments were jolted awake by the sound and light of the flames. The power was reported in the nearby apartment complexes and traffic lights.

A witness, Pedro Tapiak, told the News and Observer of Raleigh that the spread of fire caused a construction crane to collapse.

Other witnesses spoke of sparks and flying objects in the midst of gusting winds.

“There were pieces of burning approximately three metres wide,” said Torrin McBynum, of Garner. “One of them went under my sweater.”

Firefighters on long ladders dumped water on the fire as wind gusts spread of smoke for blocks around. There were no signs of anyone trapped in the building, according to local media.

The cause of the fire is being investigated.

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