Raleigh police officer, firefighter burned out of their homes

RALEIGH (WTVD) -- An early morning house fire in Raleigh left two local first responders without a home on Saturday.

The fire damaged a townhome building near Strickland Road and Creedmoor Road, in the Providence Square community. Firefighters called a second alarm at the home in the 8200 block of Hempshire Place.

The flames severely damaged the homes of a Raleigh police officer and a firefighter.

Our crew on the scene said the firefighter was on duty Saturday morning when the call went out. He started to respond, then he heard the dispatcher give his address.

Three townhomes were damaged, including the homes of the men who have answered the call to serve the citizens of Raleigh.

"I feel very sorry for them, and I think their units were damaged more than any others," said eyewitness Sue Bailey. "The other one was damaged too, the one on the other side."

Police said officer A.R. Morales lives in one of the units, and firefighter John Stiver is in another.

Stiver works at a station in Wakefield. He told our crew as he was riding over in an engine, he was on the phone with his wife. She said the curtains were melting inside the home and she was having a hard time seeing through the smoke.

Neighbors said it was a fast moving fire, and people were evacuated.

"It was billowing out, up the upstairs when I first got up and went out there. And of course, then I got out," Bailey said.

Officials are investigating the cause of the blaze. They believe it started on the deck of Morales' home.

Stiver says while it was hard for him to be on the other side, he is thankful nobody was injured. His wife and their pets made it out safely.

A GoFundMe page is set up for the fire victims. Go to https://www.gofundme.com/484jq9sw to donate.

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