Carrboro fire displaces residents

Investigators look for the cause

Staff WriterNovember 29, 2007 

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More than a dozen people were displaced Wednesday night in Carrboro after a fire ripped through several units of an apartment building, officials said.

STAFF PHOTO BY SAMUEL SPIES

— More than a dozen people were displaced Wednesday night after a fire ripped through several units of an apartment building, officials said.

All of the building's residents and pets were accounted for, and three emergency workers had minor injuries, said Carrboro Fire and Rescue Capt. Kent Squires.

Firefighters responded about 6:30 p.m. to Building J in the Ashbrook Apartment Homes at 601 Jones Ferry Road, he said.

Flames shot from the roof of the three-level unit, their glow visible from several blocks away.

Firefighters from the Carrboro, Chapel Hill and New Hope fire departments worked for more than an hour to contain the blaze, Squires said.

Squires said investigators are working to determine where and how the fire started. Four units are a total loss, and the building is expected to be uninhabitable for some time, said a news release from the Carrboro Fire Department.

UNC-Chapel Hill senior Toya Ebron lives in unit J-7. She had just gotten home and planned to take a nap when she noticed a glow from another apartment.

"It looked like firecrackers," she said. She grabbed her phone and ran out of the basement unit.

Ebron and her roommate Rekita Moody fear they have lost all of their clothes and school books -- just as finals are about to start.

Cindy Talisman just moved into a unit in the building next door two weeks ago. She got home from work and took her dog for a walk, admiring the Christmas trees and lights decorating windows and porches of the units in Building J.

Back in the apartment, she spotted the glow of fire from her living room, she said. "Everything was just ablaze," she said.

Talisman said the first thing she's doing this morning is calling to get renter's insurance. "I feel so sorry for those people," she said.

jessica.rocha@newsobserver.com or (919) 932-2008

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