Relative in 'shock' and demanding accountability after baby dies in Cary fire

Wednesday, March 9, 2022
Relative in 'shock,' demanding accountability after baby dies in fire
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Cary Fire and Police are still investigating at the site of a deadly apartment fire that killed a 9-month-old baby girl.

CARY, N.C. (WTVD) -- Cary Fire and Police are still investigating at the site of a deadly apartment fire that killed a 9-month-old baby girl.

Flames ripped through a three-story building at Aurella Cary apartments on Monday

A relative of the victim, who did not want to share his name, said everyone in his family is in shock and demanding accountability.

"It's crazy that can happen. You hear about fires all the time and stuff like that, and people's families passing away in fires, and you always feeling heartbreak for them, but you never think that's going to happen to you," the family member said.

911 calls reveal that multiple people reached out for help and some residents were going to great lengths to escape the flames.

"We had to jump out the third floor to get out of there," said one 911 caller.

Some residents have expressed to ABC11 they don't have properly working smoke detectors or have made repeated attempts to get what they called electrical hazards fixed.

ABC11 sent those concerns directly to Harbor Group Management Co., which oversees Aurella. The company began managing the complex in late January.

Regional Manager Christen Karns said there are smoke detectors in every unit and they were checked Jan. 28.

"Any concerns raised by our residents are important to us. We are accelerating the preventative maintenance work already scheduled which includes review of unit conditions, and inspection and repairs as necessary," said Karns.

On Wednesday night, the ABC11 I-Team obtained documents of a fire inspection done just a week ago that found numerous violations at the Aurella Cary apartments.

There were fire extinguishers three years past due for service -- and missing fire extinguishers in some locations.

The fire inspector also found electrical hazards, emergency lights out of repair and exits out of compliance.

This location was also cited for other fire violations throughout the years including unsafe conditions in 2019 and for storage and fire extinguisher issues in 2016.

Property management said it will be doing more inspections next week.

The cause of the fire has not yet been determined.