Vehicle catches fire, spreads to Raleigh apartment building; 15-20 displaced

Wake County News

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – A vehicle fire outside an apartment building near the Beltline in Raleigh spread and set two buildings on fire, according to emergency officials.

The fire occurred around 5 a.m. outside the Pointe at Midtown apartments located at 833 Navaho Drive, officials said.

Officials said they’re not sure if the gas line was hit and caused the fire or not.

“Neighbors screaming let’s get out of here, let’s get out of here so I look through the peep hole I open the door again and I see a whole lot of smoke coming out so that’s when I just reacted, I woke up my son’s mom my daughter and ran out the house,” said Raymond Martinez. 

More than an hour after the fire started, a small fire could still be seen outside the building near a pickup truck.

CBS 17 spotted people huddled in blankets and slippers trying to keep warm. 

“It was bad it was in flames the whole side of the house was starting to catch fire, the whole roof was on fire,” said Martinez. 

Fire officials say this all started when a truck parked near a gas line caught fire. Those flames spreading to these apartment buildings forcing everyone inside to evacuate.

“The gas line itself is intact. What we’re noticing is it’s actually coming up through the ground so we’ve got an issue that we are sorting through with the gas company,” said Ian Toms, division chief of Raleigh fire. 

“Next thing you know, you hear a pop, pop, pop I’m not sure if it was the tire or the truck that actually blew up but it was scary,” said Martinez. 

Officials with the Red Cross on scene said the apartment management team is moving five families into vacant apartments until the fire department deems their homes safe, but several units have been deemed unsafe.

“Man, what a way to start the new year, kind of sucks but I thank God we’re all good and safe,” said Martinez.

The Red Cross is currently working to help the families that will be displaced. The cause of the fire is still under investigation.

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