Smoking materials to blame for Raleigh townhome fire, officials say

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A fire broke out in Raleigh (WTVD)

A townhome went up in flames in Raleigh's Hedingham subdivision and spread to two neighboring homes. Saturday night, firefighters said the cause of the fire was accidental with smoking materials to blame.

It happened in the 2400 block of Pumpkin Ridge Way around 5:30 p.m. Saturday.

"My heart is still racing," said Tracey Smith, an eyewitness who happened to be driving by with her family when they noticed smoke.

"I saw a little fire, just some smoke coming up, just small little smoke," said Rodney Mills, who was with Smith at the time.

He said Smith then jumped out of their car to warn the people at the home.

"There were neighbors sitting outside and I said, 'you don't know there's a fire right there?' And she just said no and she got up," said Smith. "She went to the back of the house and the grill, all I saw was the propane and the grill engulfed. It was engulfed in flames and everything started going up."

Smith and Mills then went banging on neighboring townhouses, to warn anyone who may inside. They were frantic as the fire spread, melting the siding.

"Glass was shattering and popping," recalled Smith.

Also in the crowd was Deshaun Santana, who was also driving by when he stopped for the smoke.

"The house that was next to the house that initially caught on fire, everybody was helping them get some of their belongings," said Santana. "It was crazy, it started from the bottom of the house and moved up to the attic and it spread to the house on the left of it and then it spread to the house on the right of it."

Division Fire Chief Allen Wilson with the Raleigh Fire Department said four adults and two children are now displaced. He said no one was actually inside the homes during the fire, but a family dog is missing.

While eyewitnesses describe the fire as starting near a grill.

About 50 firefighters responded to the call.

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