Watch: Massive 5-alarm fire in downtown Raleigh damages 10 buildings


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 say.

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

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

Officials say 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, says 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 says 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 says.

Fanning advised that people stay away from downtown Raleigh, if possible. At the very least, people should avoid the area of the fire. Smoke will most likely hang around downtown for at least another day.

An investigation into the fire hasn’t begun yet, Fanning says. 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.

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