Cause still sought for Durham apartment fire

jwise@newsobserver.comJuly 9, 2013 


Durham firefighters attack a growing apartment fire from two sides Monday afternoon, July 8, 2013 in Bldg. 9 at the Royal Oaks Apartments on Mayfair St. in SW Durham,NC. No one was reported injured in the rapidly spreading fire that destroyed twenty-four (24) units according to a recovery specialist company.


— Authorities are still trying to determine what caused Monday’s fire at the Royal Oaks Apartments.

“We have fire investigators out there right now, sifting through,” Durham Fire Chief Dan Curia said Tuesday afternoon.

Meanwhile, American Red Cross spokeswoman Lu Esposito said the agency has arranged new housing for 16 of the 18 families whose apartments were destroyed.

“The apartment complex has been very helpful and very cooperative in helping us find other units,” Esposito said.

The fire, which broke out around 12:30 p.m. Monday, destroyed 20 of the 24 apartments in one building at the complex, which is between Durham-Chapel Hill Boulevard and University Drive in the South Square area.

Two of the apartments were unoccupied, Esposito said. Between 40 and 50 people lost their homes.

Damage to the apartment building, at 3525 Mayfair St., is estimated at $1 million, Curia said. Damage to contents is estimated at $400,000.

Esposito said donations to assist the families affected by the fire may be made to Red Cross Disaster Relief (; contributions are credited to local Red Cross chapters, she said, and will be available to help the Royal Oaks residents.

Wise: 919-641-5895

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