Huge Fire Engulfs Building in Raleigh

Huge Fire Engulfs Building in Raleigh

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) -- Firefighters have extinguished a massive late-night fire that engulfed an apartment building under construction in North Carolina's capital city, authorities said early Friday.

Preliminary information indicates there were no injuries, said Raleigh police spokeswoman Laura Hourigan. The fire began shortly after 10 p.m. Thursday in the building in downtown Raleigh, a city in the eastern part of the state. The fire was under control by 1:10 a.m.

Firefighters were still looking to control hot spots, but flames were out.

During the three hours that the inferno burned, the flames ignited surrounding vegetation and spread to utility poles. It's unclear whether surrounding buildings were affected.

News media organizations reported that residents of nearby apartments were jolted awake by noise and light from the flames. Power was reported out in nearby apartment complexes and traffic lights.

A witness, Pedro Tapiak, told the News and Observer of Raleigh (…) that spreading flames caused a construction crane to collapse.

Other witnesses spoke of sparks and flying objects amid gusting winds.

"There were chunks burning about 3 feet wide," said Torrin McBynum of Garner. "One of them went under my sweater."

Firefighters on extended ladders dumped water on the flames as wind gusts spread smoke for blocks. There were no signs of anyone trapped in the building, according to the local news reports.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.