Investigation Underway Following Condo Building Fire In Carolina Beach

Investigation Underway Following Condo Building Fire In Carolina Beach

Investigation Underway Following Condo Building Fire In Carolina Beach Featured

By / Local News / Friday, 02 April 2021 08:33

By WILLARD KILLOUGH III
Managing Editor

CAROLINA BEACH - Smoke could be seen throughout a large portion of Carolina Beach on Friday afternoon originating from a fast spreading fire at the Paradise Cove condominium complex adjacent to Snow's Cut Bridge on North Lake Park Blvd.

A 12-unit building within the complex was fully engulfed in fire a short time after 1:00PM.

Strong winds were carrying hot embers to adjacent properties causing smaller fires in bushes and  other vegetation.

Police were going door-to-door within the other buildings in the complex alerting residents to immediately evacuate the area as the fire continued to spread with sounds of explosions, likely from vehicle fires, echoing throughout the area.

Residents were racing away from their condos, some carrying their pets and other belongings through a thick haze of smoke.

During a press conference held at the scene of the fire, Carolina Beach Fire Chief Alan Griffin said at 1:00PM someone called 911 to report a structure fire. He said, "Upon our arrival there was a lot of fire in the front of the building. There are two main stairwells on the structure and the fire was located in that area. All floors seemed to be on fire on the front of the building."

Griffin said three people jumped from areas of the building and four people were transported to the hospital with non life threatening injuries including smoke inhalation.

Griffin said a couple of fire fighters had minor injuries including minor burns which were treated at the scene.

Griffin said, "We are currently working on an investigation with us, the police department and the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation (SBI) to work on a cause and determination for the fire. It's still early in the investigation as they continue to deal with the fire."

He said the fire was located in one horseshoe shaped building. Strong winds up to 15 knots created issues including other "spot fires" in the area caused by hot embers being carried away by those strong winds.

Griffin said 12 units in the complex were consumed by fire with other units in the complex showing signs of minor damage.

Griffin said the Carolina Beach Fire Department along with New Hanover County, Wilmington and Kure Beach fire departments responded to the fire.

He explained, "We are very proud of our fire department. You guys know last weekend we had a condo fire and got a really quick stop on that one. Today with the wind and were the fire was located, it was ahead of us, we could have easily lost two our three units out here. As always I'm very proud of my staff. They always do an excellent job.

James Jarvis, Director of the Red Cross of Wilmington said, "We will provide residents with financial assistance to help them through this  really difficult time. We really appreciate the support of Pleasure Island and the Pleasure Island Relief Fund. This community really does rally together, always has when we've had these kinds of tragedies so our focus of effort right now is meeting with families who been displaced and providing them with the assistance that they need so they can begin their recovery."

Police detective searching for residents to interview as witnesses.

Two residents of the condo complex racing away from the fire into the Food Lion parking lot.

Fire fighter races towards the scene carrying gear.

Employees of the neighboring Food Lion store stand watching as fire rages through the condo building.

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