Firefighters are battling five-alarm fire that is burning in downtown Raleigh, according to WNCN-TV, a WANE-TV sister station in North Carolina. The under-construction building is surrounded by apartment buildings, but it's not yet known if anyone is in danger. Around 5 a.m. Friday, Duke Energy's outage map showed around 250 customers in Raleigh were without power after the fire damaged some equipment.
The flames ignited surrounding vegetation, spreading to nearby utility poles and the Sutton Insurance building on West Jones Street. "Especially under construction. The wood is not protected and the fire moves very rapidly". The flames were visible against the city's skyline. The effort to get the fire under control was expected to last overnight. Crews were still spraying the burnt structure with water at 5 a.m.to extinguish any hot spots.
They said the building is in the north part of downtown, west of the General Assembly and state legislature buildings.
"I agree", said Morgan Truesdale, a witness on the scene.
It's too early to determine what started the massive blaze.
There is no indication of anyone being trapped in the fire, nor is there any news of anyone being killed by it.
The Church of the Good Shepherd at 125 Hillsborough Street has opened as a shelter to those who were evacuated or displaced from the blaze.
The cause of the fire is still unknown.