Cary apartment building fire cause unknown

Updated 1/20/2015 1:28 PM

The cause of a weekend fire at a Cary apartment building has not been determined, fire officials said Tuesday.

It took firefighters about an hour to get the blaze under control in the early hours of Saturday. The fire spread to the first and second floors of the three-story complex at 342 Crystal St., but one first-floor apartment was heavily consumed by flames.


"We believe it started in the area of the second floor furnace room," Cary Fire Protection District Lt. Andy Veath said. "It did not appear to be suspicious so we did not involve the state fire marshal. At this point, it has been turned over to the insurance company."

Sixteen residents were evacuated unharmed from five occupied apartments. Three people were evaluated for smoke inhalation on the scene.

No firefighters were injured.

The six-unit apartment building sustained heavy damage and remains uninhabitable, Veath said.

Several of the displaced tenants are staying with friends and relatives, he added.

Veath said there aren't many apartment buildings in town and it's fortunate everyone got out safely.

Firefighters said they found several smoke detectors in the building that didn't sound because of dead or no batteries. Officials said most of the tenants were alerted by someone yelling "fire" and pounding on apartment doors.

"This was the first structure fire we've had in quite a while," Veath said.

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