RALEIGH, N.C. – Firefighters battled 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 flames ignited surrounding vegetation and spread to utility poles. It’s unclear whether surrounding buildings were affected.
Local 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 three 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 all around. There were no signs of anyone trapped in the building, according to the local media reports.
The cause of the fire is under investigation.