Three downtown buildings catch fire
A barn located behind Durham Community Church was engulfed in flames, destroying most of the building this weekend. The Durham Fire Department is currently working with the police department to determine the causes of the fires. Justin Doubleday/Staff
After a fire left a gaping hole in Evan Orlando's bedroom wall early Saturday morning, he and his roommate will be walking to their classes this week from the Durham Holiday Inn, where they are currently residing.
"I was in my apartment sitting on the couch and smelled burning," Orlando said. "I was shocked, I didn't understand how a fire started."
The fire at Orlando's 20 Main St. apartment was the second of three fires that occurred in Durham early Saturday morning, all within extremely close proximity. Officials were dispatched to 15 Main St. at 1:08 a.m., where a mattress fire had been reported. Fire Chief Corey Landry said that no one was injured.
At 2:49 a.m., the Durham Fire Department received Orlando's emergency phone call that his apartment had caught fire. Shortly after, other residents in the building were evacuated and the flames were put out.
The fire started on the outside of the rear end of the house and burned through the wall into the bedroom, according to the Durham Fire Department. Orlando said that his apartment still smells heavily of smoke but that, for now, he enjoys staying at the Holiday Inn.
"We will be staying here for several more days," he said.
Residents at 4 Smith Park Lane have been relocated as well due to a third and much larger fire at the apartment that occurred less than an hour after officials arrived at 20 Main St. Durham Fire Department units were still operating at 20 Main St. when they received the third emergency dispatch at 3:30 a.m.
Loud explosions were heard as the fire fully engulfed a barn, which caused it to collapse, according to the Durham Fire Department. Landry said that no one was injured in the fire.
"The barn burned off and people lived in the connecting apartments," Landry said. "There was at least one person home, but everybody got out safely."
All three fires are currently under investigation, but there have not yet been any suspects brought in for questioning. Orlando said that he believes the circumstances are suspicious.
"I think it was arson because there is no way those fires started naturally," Orlando said. "It was too cold and wet outside."
Landry said that as of now there is not enough information to determine the cause of the fires, but that the close proximity of the three fires raises questions.
"It absolutely raises a red flag, but we are treating them as individual fires right now," he said. "We have to look at it from all aspects."
Landry said that the Durham Fire Department is working with the Durham Police Department on the investigation, which could take days or even weeks to thoroughly complete.
Get Top Stories Delivered Weekly
From Around the Web
More tnhonline News Articles
Recent tnhonline News Articles
Discuss This Article
MOST POPULAR TNHONLINE NEWS
GET TOP STORIES DELIVERED WEEKLY
FOLLOW OUR NEWSPAPER
LATEST TNHONLINE NEWS
FROM AROUND THE WEB
- When It Comes to Winter Roof Checkups, the Attic Is Your...
- Is It Time to Sell Your Structured Settlement for Cash?
- Pest Proof Now to Protect Homes for Winter
- 3 Fishermen Rescued at Sea Thanks to GPS Device
- Mes de la Hispanidad inspira liderazgo, empoderamiento,...
- Majority of Moms and Moms-to-Be Believe in Public...
- Wineries Speak Up About the Benefits of Using Natural Cork
- Taking a Holistic Approach to Fit Living
- Wondering if it's Time to Buy a New Car? Just Check Your...
- Smartphone to Become Wallet -- Are Customers, Businesses...
COLLEGE PRESS RELEASES
- Over 2,000 Groups Prepare to “Hit the Streets” with Volunteers and Celebrities for National Voter Registration Day on September 23, 2014
- Peace Corps Director Calls on College Students to Make a Difference After Graduation Through International Service
- USA NETWORK AND VERIZON LAUNCH THE “CHARACTERS UNITE COLLEGE TOUR” COMPETITION FOR STUDENTS TO BRING A USA NETWORK CELEBRITY AND A WORTHY CAUSE TO THEIR CAMPUS
- WHEN GEORGIA SMILED: THE ROBIN MCGRAW REVELATION FOUNDATION TEAMS WITH PIVOT AND STUDENTS OF THE WORLD TO LAUNCH THE #iASPIRE GRANT CONTEST
- Latino Groups Launch National Campaign to Deliver Record Latino Turnout for 2014 Midterm Elections