‘I was scared of stuff exploding everywhere’: Fire tears through Raleigh college housing complex

Wake County News

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – A fire at a college housing complex displaced dozens of students in Raleigh on Monday.

The fire happened at the Village Green apartments, which is where N.C. State University and William Peace University students live.

“Something so small erupted so big. It’s kind of scary,” said Patrick Calhoun, a resident who called 911. “I stepped back because I was scared of stuff exploding everywhere.”

Calhoun said he quickly dialed 911 as he watched the flames grow.

“Stuff started crackling everywhere. There’s a couch and then it was gone seconds later,” said Calhoun.

“I heard a big explosion. I thought it was a gunshot or anything,” said resident Lauren Wand.

(Bridget Chapman/CBS 17)

The fire ripped through a dozen units at the Village Green apartments.

“My biggest fear was someone was hurt,” said resident Nancy Gamewell.

Thankfully, everyone made it out safely.

“I saw people running and I didn’t know what to do in that situation,” said Gamewell.

“I was really scared, and I was hoping everyone was okay but to me, things are things and things can be replaced but people can’t,” said Wand.

Around 50 people now can’t stay there because of the damage.

“It just pulls on your heart and stuff like that and makes your stomach drop,” said Calhoun.

Firefighters responded within minutes of the call around 9:30 a.m.

They were there into the afternoon.

“It took 65 firefighters to bring this fire under control,” said Battalion Chief Dennis Marshall with the Raleigh Fire Department. “We did a great job stopping it and not letting it ruin the whole building.”

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

Red Cross is assisting the people affected.

Students who were displaced by the fire can also reach out to Pack Essentials if they need assistance along with the food pantry, Feed the Pack.

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