One of the biggest fires in Raleigh’s history just broke out tonight in a downtown mid-rise building.
The first first started near the intersection of North Street, West Street, and Harrington St. Every available Raleigh police and fire crew is now responding to the inferno, using water hoses, fire balls, and fire foam in an attempt to stop the fire from spreading.
It isn’t yet clear how many people have been injured or what exactly started the fire.
— Jay Nakai (@JayNakai) March 17, 2017
The fire has now become so unstable that the city is warning the public to stay away from downtown:
Avoid the downtown area surrounding North Street, West Street and Harrington. Raleigh Fire and Police responding to fire.
— City of Raleigh (@RaleighGov) March 17, 2017
Here are some other angles of the massive 5-alarm blaze in downtown Raleigh:
Downtown Raleigh watch tower crane fall pic.twitter.com/GsLRCEQwuL
— Danny Horton (@Danny51legend) March 17, 2017
— Jeff Baynham (@JeffBaynham) March 17, 2017
Huge fire downtown Raleigh on Jones pic.twitter.com/QsNIZuAvJm
— Nate (@CricFanUSA) March 17, 2017
— dotemirates (@dotemirateseng) March 17, 2017
The fire is now so large that it’s smoke clouds are even being picked up on weather radars:
— WindyCityWx&News (@WindyCityWxMan) March 17, 2017
These two images appear to show the start of the fire;
— Diane Wilson (@DWilsonABC11) March 17, 2017
UPDATE: 3/17/2017 – 7:00am
The fire has now mostly been extinguished.
Raleigh Fire Chief John Fanning said that glass is everywhere and is still falling due to the aftermath from the fire.
“This is the biggest fire that I have ever seen in such a condensed area,” Fanning said in his 24 years of experience.
Eyewitnesses accounts say the fire ignited on the second floor, although police and fire officials have still not made an official determination.
We will update this article as we receive more information.