Authorities investigate early-morning fire at Raleigh postal facility

From staff reportsApril 7, 2014 

— Firefighters called police and federal investigators to the U.S. Postal Service facility on Floretta Place in north Raleigh early Monday because of a fire that burned in a cart was initially reported as an explosion, they reported.

The call brought a two-alarm response from 60 firefighters, and they called police and the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, Capt. J.W. Hicks, a fire department investigator, said in an incident report.

Assistant Fire Chief Kendall T. Hocutt, city fire marshal, said an investigation showed no debris that would indicate an explosion had happened, but the cause was still unknown.

Postal workers using fire extinguishers had the fire mostly out when the first fire trucks arrived, he said.

The two-alarm response was based on the initial report of an explosion, the 450,000-square-foot size of the sorting center and firefighters’ knowing there were 155 people in the building at the time, Hocutt said.

Authorities also are cautious about all calls involving the mail because of incidents that have happened elsewhere in the country, the assistant chief said.

There was no damage to the building, postal workers or firefighters, Hicks said.

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