No injuries were reported in a fire early Friday that heavily damaged an apartment complex in Hickory, officials say.
Later Friday, investigators said they determined the fire was a case of arson.
Hickory fire officials said the blaze was reported shortly after 2:30 a.m. at a building in the 200 block of 9th Avenue Place SW. Firefighters found flames and smoke coming from the roof of the eight-unit apartment complex when they arrived. Officials said they called for help because of the size of the unit.
Firefighters and Hickory police officers evacuated residents of the building and residents of another apartment building across from the structure that was on fire. Crews brought the blaze under control in 53 minutes.
Officials say the Long View Fire Department served in a backup role while Hickory crews were busy battling the fire. The Catawba Valley chapter of the American Red Cross provided help for 22 residents who were displaced by the blaze.
Authorities ask that anyone with information in the case contact the North Carolina Arson Hotline, 1-800-334-3000, or contact the Hickory Police Department, 828-328-5551 or the Hickory Fire Department’s Division of Fire and Life Safety, 828-323-7522.
Lyttle: 704-358-6107; Twitter: @slyttle