‘Catastrophic’ Durham fire was intentionally set, officials say

Durham County News

DURHAM, N.C. (WNCN) – A massive fire that tore through an unfinished Durham apartment building earlier in the week was intentionally set, Durham fire officials said on Friday.

The fire broke out just before midnight Tuesday at an apartment building construction site on Gordon Street near the Durham Freeway, according to Durham fire officials.

When fire crews first arrived, an entire section of the building was fully involved in flames, according to Dan Cremeans, Durham division fire chief.

That section later collapsed, Cremeans said.

Most of the fire was extinguished by 12:30 a.m.

On Friday, Durham fire officials said the City of Durham Fire Marshal’s Office, the Durham Police Department, the State Fire Marshal, SBI and the ATF have worked together on an investigation into what officials said was a “catastrophic fire event.”

More than 165 staff hours were spent on the investigation that resulted in an unanimous conclusion that the fire was intentionally set.

A motive behind the arson is unknown at this time.

A criminal investigation will be handled by Durham police.

Anyone who may have information related to this fire is asked to contact the City of Durham Fire Marshal’s Office or the City of Durham Police Department at either of the numbers below.

All callers will remain anonymous.

  • DFD Assistant Fire Marshal Brandon Link 919-560-4242 x19239
  • DPD Investigator- Adam Junker 919-560-4935 x29416

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