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

Crews on scene in Raleigh, North Carolina Friday, March 17, 2017, after a 5-alarm fire damaged several buildings the night before. Image Credit: NBC News

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN/WAVY) — 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 WAVY sister station WNCN 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.

WAVY Meteorologist Ashley Baylor says the fire was so large that is showing up on weather radar.

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.

One man 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, Capital Boulevard southbound from Wade Avenue to Peace Street, Hillsborough Street in both directions from Morgan Street to Dawson Street, and Glenwood Avenue in both directions between Wade Avenue and Morgan Street are all closed this morning.

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

At least one local business is helping feed first responders and the Raleigh Chamber is offering up their building for local businesses to continue working.

Barry’s Cafe went to the area of the fire around 12:30 a.m. Friday to feed first responders and they plan to come back later today to feed more and are already prepping food.

The Raleigh Chamber tweeted that their office is available from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. to displaced business owners and business leaders who need a downtown base of operations with WiFi, copiers and coffee. For more information, call the Chamber at (919) 664-7000.


WATCH: Crews battle a huge blaze in downtown Raleigh, North Carolina on March 16, 2017.

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