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

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

The intense fire sent smoke billowing into the sky around 10 400 West North Street.

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. Fire crews surrounded the complex, dumping water from extended ladders to try to keep the flames from jumping to nearby buildings. In addition to the firefighters, 25 apparatus helped work the fire.

An estimated 205 apartments and 37 condos were damaged across three buildings, which represents hundreds of downtown residents, but authorities did not yet have official numbers. Raleigh Fire and Police responding to fire.

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Their six-story apartment building's pale green paint was scorched a dark brown by the blaze and many windows were open to the cold, clear air. A construction crane has also fallen as result of the fire.

The massive fire in Raleigh caused North Carolina state government to close some buildings early for the week. A number of streets remain closed.

Officials with the Red Cross said they were helping about 40 people who needed a place to stay.