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Raw: Five-Alarm Fire in Downtown Raleigh

Raw: Five-Alarm Fire in Downtown Raleigh

The fire happened at a building under construction at 400 W. North St., WTVD reports. The fire then quickly spread to several other surrounding buildings.

Nearby buildings and homes were evacuated. In addition to the firefighters, 25 apparatus helped work the fire.

Barry's Cafe went to the area of the fire around 12:30 a.m. Friday to feed first responders and they plan to come back later today to feed more and are already prepping food.

Their six-story apartment building's pale green paint was scorched a dark brown by the blaze and many windows were open to the cold, clear air. No one lives in the building, but it has apartment buildings on both sides.

A witness, Pedro Tapiak, told the News and Observer of Raleigh that spreading flames caused a construction crane to collapse. By 1 a.m., the fire was under control with crews still spraying the burnt structure with water to extinguish any hot spots.

About 130 firefighters worked to extinguish the flames. Several other side streets are also blocked - like Jones, West, and Harrington streets - forcing detours in those areas.

Eyewitnesses said it looked as if the fire started on the second floor, but police and fire officials have not confirmed the suspicion.

Fanning advised that people stay away from downtown Raleigh, if possible. No injuries are yet reported and there are no indications that anyone is trapped inside any of the affected buildings.

The Red Cross is mobilizing volunteers to assist those who have been displaced by the fire.

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