Raleigh apartment residents frustrated after 4th fire in a month

Tamara Scott Image
Friday, September 24, 2021
Raleigh Apartment residents frustrated with 4th fire in a month
EMBED <>More Videos

More than two dozen Raleigh residents are without a home after an apartment fire at the Bridges at North Hills Apartment complex.

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- More than two dozen residents are without homes after an apartment fire at the Bridges at North Hills apartment complex on Lake Hill Drive off Sandy Forks Road.

Several families were awakened for the fourth time in a month after another fire in the same building put them out last night.

On Friday, they are homeless -- and frustrated.

"I lost everything yesterday I have nothing. What you see is what you get," said Quinell Harrison.

Harrison said the clothes on his back are all he has left.

He said his fear of a fire directly affecting him became a reality

"I woke up to people banging on my door, and I open the bathroom door and the entire bathroom is in flames," he said.

When fire crews arrived, they found heavy smoke coming from the stairwell. They got the fire under control in about 45 minutes. But 15% of the building sustained damage.

Four fires in 30 days.

"The first fire happened right here adjacent to the left of the staircase," Harrison said of the first one.

The first fire right under Harrison's unit was on Aug. 17. Fire inspectors determined that an electrical wiring failure was to blame.

Harrison said the displaced residents were housed in a hotel.

No cause was determined for the second fire, which happened Aug. 19.

The third fire happened a week after that one.

"We were still in a hotel; we came back and that was two weeks later," Harrison said.

On Sept. 1, a third fire broke out. That one is still under investigation, but on the same day, there were three code violations filed by the fire marshal. Only one of those violations has been repaired.

"OK, we came back because y'all told us to come back that it was safe for us to come back; this isn't safe," Harrison said.

Several families are angry that they have to look for a place to live

"Because it's our lives. Most of these people here are week-to-week families. And just jump and move and move along with our lives, it's not that easy," said William Henderson. "I have a child that is about to be born in six months. My child will be here in six months, where am I supposed to go?"

ABC11 reached out to Bridges at North Hills management about the unfulfilled violations and its decision to move people back in.

The manager said they were aware of the public record but had no comment.

Asked whether there were plans to help the displaced families, management again had no comment.

"I literally came back to a burning building," Harrison said. "It's unprofessional. it's lack of caring and it hurts."

The cause of the latest fire is still under investigation.

See breaking news? Tell us about it here.