Susan Kluttz, who led the state’s cultural resources department under Gov. Pat McCrory, injured her knee while escaping her downtown Raleigh condominium Thursday night as a fire raged across the street.
Kluttz served as secretary of natural and cultural resources throughout McCrory’s term, and she and her husband were sleeping in their high-rise Quorum Center condo when the fire broke out at an apartment construction site on Jones Street.
Kluttz told the Salisbury Post that she awoke to sirens and saw “a sheet of flames,” when she looked out her living room window, which faces the site of the fire.
“It was a nightmare ... but we have so much to be thankful for,” she told her hometown paper.
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Kluttz and her husband, Bill, walked down the 10 flights of stairs from their condo and then walked several blocks to Hillsborough Street to get away from the fire. Along the way, Susan Kluttz fell and injured her knee – prompting a trip to WakeMed hospital where she spent several hours in the emergency room before she was released.
McCrory expressed his concern for Kluttz on Twitter Friday:
Kluttz isn’t the only political figure who lives in the Quorum Center when working in Raleigh. State Rep. Billy Richardson, a Fayetteville Democrat, rents a condo in the building because it’s a few blocks from the Legislative Building.
He visited his condo Saturday to inspect the smoke and water damage, posting on Twitter to thank the Raleigh firefighter who escorted him into the damaged building:
Because of the fire’s close proximity to the state government complex, a number of groups involved in politics had offices that were damaged. Among them is the N.C. State Firefighters’ Association, which advocates for firefighters from offices in the Quorum Center.
“The office has sustained significant water and some heat damage,” the organization posted on its website. “All the windows on the Jones Street side were blown out by heat and all the offices on the Jones Street side had sprinklers activated. We are going to have to find alternate office space for the time being.”