Crews Respond to Fire in Southern Village

Six Chapel Hill Fire Department trucks responded to a report of a structure fire just before one o’clock Tuesday afternoon at 500 Market Street in the Southern Village Neighborhood.

Authorities say the call was received from an alarm monitoring company as a fire alarm activation, before being elevated to a structure fire.

Spokesperson Lisa Edwards said in a press release that the sprinkler system in the unit extinguished the fire and firefighters investigated to ensure the fire had not spread.

The cause of the fire was determined to be cooking related. There were no injuries reported.

Edwards says cooking is the number one cause of home fires and home injuries.

Civilian Killed; 2 Firefighters Injured in Carrboro Fire

One resident was killed in a fire in Carrboro on Friday.

Officials say the Carrboro Fire-Rescue Department was dispatched to a report of a structure fire at 1144 Smith Level Road at 10:41 Friday night.

Crews found the structure to be fully engulfed with smoke and flames. The structure was a total loss.

Officials say one civilian fatality was reported along with two non-life threatening injuries to firefighters.

The residence was not protected with residential fire sprinklers, according to officials.

In addition to Carrboro Fire and Rescue, crews from Chapel Hill, North Chatham and White Cross responded to the fire. Officials from the Orange County Fire Marshal’s office and the State Bureau of Investigation were also called to the scene.

The fire is still under investigation.

The name of the deceased has not been officially released at this time.

WNCN is reporting that the victim in the fire was 83-year-old Emma Jean Cole. Family members told the television station Cole managed to escape the fire but was found unconscious by first responders. The family told WNCN Cole was taken to the hospital but later died, and that she had lived in the house for about 25 years.

Carrboro Family Displaced by Fire

A fire in Carrboro displaced five residents from their home, according to officials.

Carrboro Fire crews responded to a structure fire at 204 Cates Farm Road at 11:32 on Sunday night.

Carrboro Fire_5

Firefighters found smoke and heavy fire coming from the roof of the home. Firefighters from Carrboro, Chapel Hill, North Chatham, Orange Grove, New Hope, and White Cross Fire Departments were able to get the fire under control in approximately 45 minutes.

The Red Cross is assisting the family.

Carrboro Fire Marshal Kent Squires says the cause of the fire is still under investigation. An agent from the State Bureau of Investigation who specializes in these cases is assisting the fire department.

No injuries resulted from the fire.

Fire Overnight in Chapel Hill Office Park

The Chapel Hill Fire Department was on the scene of a fire Wednesday morning.

The fire was at 920 Martin Luther King Junior Boulevard, in a small office park.

Battalion Chief Jeff Cabe says the owners of a dentist office came in to open up and were greeted by a large amount of smoke.

“By the time we were dispatched and we got on scene, there was a lot of smoke left in the building,” he says. “The damage was pretty significant throughout the main portions of the hallway and the building. But the fire was out.”

Cabe says that is an unusual scenario: for a fire to have, apparently, burned itself out by the time the fire department is called.

He adds the cold weather likely did not play a factor in the fire.

“I would think weather probably didn’t have anything to do with it, based on the nature of where the fire [was]; the fire was in the center of the building,” he says. “My guess is, because it’s the heating season, that when the fire started it shut the heating system down.”

Cabe says the heating system shutting off would have cut off the main supply of air to the fire.

The battalion chief adds fire marshals were investigating the scene, as of Wednesday morning, and were working to determine the cause and origin of the fire.

“With it being a fire that burned itself out, it may take a little bit longer,” he says. “That’s sort of an unusual situation.”

No injuries were reported in the fire.

Vehicle Fire Damages Chapel Hill Home

A vehicle fire on Saturday evening wound up doing $30,000 in damage to a home in Chapel Hill.

At 6:05 pm, Chapel Hill Fire crews were called to 110 Middlebrook Court, in a subdivision near the intersection of Erwin and Sage. When they arrived, they found a vehicle on fire inside the garage and the fire beginning to spread.

Officials quickly evacuated the home and put out the blaze, but not before the fire did $30,000 worth of damage to the garage and the vehicle. Parts of the home also suffered smoke damage – but fortunately there were no injuries.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation, but Chapel Hill Fire officials are reminding everyone to make sure you have working smoke alarms on every level of your home.

Check Your Smoke Alarm!

Chapel Hill Fire Marshal Todd Iaeger says roughly half of home fire deaths result from nighttime fires when people are asleep, and the number one key for reducing those deaths is to have a working smoke detector.

“It’s the number one way to keep people safe and notify them,” Marshal Iaeger says. “Your chances dramatically drop of being killed or injured in a fire if you have proper smoke detection.”

Marshal Iaeger is currently promoting Fire Prevention Week with this year’s campaign slogan of “Working Smoke Alarms Save Lives, Test Yours Every Month”.

The US Fire Administration reports that fires involving laundry equipment are reported approximately 2,900 times per year, and on Sunday, a home in the Finley Forrest Neighborhood near the Friday Center caught fire due to an overheating of the dryer vent piping.

Marshal Iaeger says when winterizing your home, it’s also a good time to have your equipment maintained by a professional in order to assure it’s working properly and safely.

“You always want to make sure, on a regular basis, every month, that your lint filters or your lint exhaust areas of your building are clean,” Marshal Iaeger says. “Checking your dryer and cleaning the lint filter every use is the practical and appropriate thing to do. Anything else around the house when it comes to heating equipment—we’re getting into that season—you want to make sure that your utilizing a qualified and trained technician from an appropriate and respectable company that can come out and service your equipment.”

Fire Prevention Week runs through Saturday.

This year’s Fire Prevention Week campaign includes:
• Install smoke alarms in every bedroom, outside each bedroom and on every level of the home, including the basement.
• Interconnect all smoke alarms throughout the home. This way, when one sounds, they all sound.
• Test alarms at least monthly by pushing the test button.
• Replace all smoke alarms when they are 10 years old or sooner if they don’t respond properly.
• Make sure everyone in the home knows the sound of the smoke alarm and understands what to do when they hear it.

For more information, visit

Fire at UNC Hospitals’ Parking Deck Shuts Down Walking Bridge

An early-morning fire beneath the walkway between the hospital and the Dogwood Parking Deck destroyed five golf carts, and temporarily shut down the bridge across Manning Drive.

Fortunately, the 2:30 a.m. blaze was extinguished by Chapel Hill firefighters in about 15 minutes, and no one was hurt, according to a press release from UNC Hospitals.

But as a result, the traffic light at the intersection of Manning and Hospital Drives was not working. Drivers were cautioned to proceed as if there were a stop sign there.

Pedestrians were advised to cross an alternate bridge or use the street.

Investigators have learned that the fire was caused by a battery malfunction in one of the golf carts.

The bridge and the valet parking lot will remain closed until a cleanup of the area is completed.

WRAL News reported that hospital visitors said they heard and felt an explosion.

***Update: The traffic light is once again operational; the pedestrian bridge has been checked for structural damage and is reported to be safe for pedestrians and golf carts.

WRAL News reported that fire began when a battery in a golf cart near the valet stand malfunctioned.

Fire Damages Orange Correctional Center

More than 200 inmates at the Orange Correctional Center had to be relocated on Saturday after an early-morning fire that damaged the kitchen building.

According to a statement from the North Carolina Department of Public Safety, a total of 216 minimum-security inmates had to be relocated. About 180 inmates in the regular population were transferred to Johnston Correctional Institution in Smithfield. Inmates in the disciplinary segregation unit were moved to other prisons across the state.

DPS reports that no one was injured in the fire, but it did leave the jail with no way to feed the inmates. Inmates will have to remain relocated until the kitchen can be repaired or rebuilt.

The cause of the fire has not yet been determined.

Firefighters Battle Blaze Near Carrboro

CARRBORO- Multiple Orange County fire departments battled a major house fire south west of Carrboro on Friday afternoon.

The blaze was first reported just before 5 o’clock. Crews trucked in water to the structure, located at 501 Old School Road off Jones Ferry Road.

The Red Cross has been contacted to help people displaced by the fire, which was reportedly under control as of 6 o’clock.

Tuesday Fire Causes Thousands In Damage

CHAPEL HILL – A structure fire Tuesday evening caused thousands of dollars of damage in a two-story home at 219 Stagecoach Road.

The Chapel Hill Fire Department responded to a call shortly before 8:00 p.m., finding smoke in the crawl space of the house. Fire crews were able to extinguish the fire within six minutes and there were no injuries, but the residents have been displaced from the home and the damage is estimated to be $5,000.

The Fire Marshal says the blaze was accidental, but hasn’t released a cause of origin. Still, fire officials are taking the opportunity to remind people to keep anything flammable at least three feet away from any heating equipment, including furnaces, fireplaces, wood stoves and space heaters.