Lightning blamed for destructive apartment fire

RALEIGH (WTVD) -- Lightning is being blamed for a fire that injured one person and damaged at least four apartments overnight.

It happened around midnight at the Courtney Place Apartments off Louisburg Road in northeast Raleigh.

An eyewitness video showed flames leaping from the apartments just after a lightning strike.

When firefighters arrived, they were at first able to get inside to battle the blaze and get residents out. However, despite their best efforts to get it under control, it spread quickly.

So quickly in fact, at one point firefighters had to get out of the building.

Crews were eventually able to get it under control, but by then at least four units in one building were damaged.

Fire officials said an alert resident may have saved lives.

"One lady, she woke up and actually did smell some smoke and saw the fire outside of her apartment complex and recognized she did have a problem," Asst. Raleigh Fire Chief Kendall Hocutt said. "We have a fire station pretty close by so as soon as they got here their first indication was to notify for a second alarm because they knew that it was already in the roof structure and fully involved."

One resident was burned and taken to the hospital, but it doesn't appear the injuries are life threatening.

Officials said lot of property was lost to the flames and at least five people were displaced.

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