Massive 5-alarm fire in downtown Raleigh damages 10 buildings, 5 severely

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — Firefighters battled a five-alarm fire in downtown Raleigh on Thursday night for more than three hours.

The fire was first reported shortly after 10 p.m. and was under control by 1:10 a.m., officials said.

The biggest concern at this point is rekindling, officials said. Three buildings were cleared by Friday morning.

Fire officials told CBS North Carolina the fire started in an apartment building under construction at 400 W North St.

Officials said the fire started on the third floor of the building and spread quickly because it was a wood construction and had many flammable construction materials inside.

The main building involved in the fire spread to four other buildings, according to Raleigh fire officials. Overall, 10 buildings were damaged – five severely, said Raleigh Fire Division Chief John Fanning.

Around 130 firefighters battled the flames with crews working in 90 minute shifts. In addition to the firefighters, 25 apparatus helped work the fire. Fanning said it was one of the worst fires he’s seen.

One first responder suffered a puncture wound due to falling glass but his injuries are non-life threatening and he should be released from the hospital soon, Fanning said.

According to the North Carolina Department of Transportation, N. Harrington Street and N. West Street are closed between W. North Street and W. Edenton Street. Lane Street and Jones Street between Glenwood Avenue and Dawson Street are also closed.

An investigation into the fire hasn’t begun yet, Fanning said. Investigators are expected to arrive at the site and begin working around lunchtime.


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