The Metropolitan Fire - March 16, 2017
Version 2.0 - April 3, 2017.
Thursday, March 16
- Engines 13, 1, 3, 5, Ladders 4, 2, Rescue 1, Battalions 3, 2
responded to a reported structure fire at 400 W. North Street. They were
dispatched at 10:03 p.m.
- The address is just a few blocks from Station 1, and crews can see
the glow of the fire as they turn onto Harrington Street.
- They arrive at the intersection of Jones and Harrington streets, at
an unfinished five-story apartment building, with 275,000 square-feet.
First floor is built of concrete, the remaining floors are wood.
- They see heavy fire inside the structure, on the center right side
of the building.
- Engine 13 was first on scene, arriving at 10:05 p.m.
- Engine 13 officer established command.
- Within minutes, the fire spread through the entire width of the
structure, and was venting along the entire front of the building,
facing Jones Street.
- Engine 13 officer called for a second (10:06 p.m.) and third alarm
(10:08 p.m.), within minutes of arriving. The EMS district chief, also
on scene, also called for a second alarm (10:06 p.m.).
- Firefighters began defensive operations, to protect the surrounding
buildings, or exposures: high-rise apartment building (left
side/Division B), high-rise office (facing the fire/Division A), and
condominium building, and a three-story office building (right
- They deployed portable ground monitors and aerial streams, and
created protective water curtains between the fire and the exposures.
- Because of the volume of fire, their first priority was protecting
the other buildings. Crews began assisting with evacuation of the Links
Apartments and the Quorum Center. They then soon performed searches of
both buildings, going floor by floor, and unit by unit, to ensure all
occupants were out.
- Battalion 3 soon arrived (10:11 p.m.), assumed command, and requested a fourth alarm.
- Sixteen minutes into the incident (10:19 p.m.), a tower crane at the construction
site collapsed, and landed atop a building on the west side of the
structure. No firefighters or civilians were injured.
- Burning embers from the 200-some foot flames were spread in the air,
and started fires on several other buildings, including landscaping and
- Calls were received at 10:28 p.m. for the Edenton Street United
Methodist Church youth center (fire) at Edenton and Dawson, and at
10:32 p.m. for the Sacred Heart Cathedral (burning embers) on
Hillsborough Street, for example.
- Some of the pumping engines and aerial apparatus was repositioned, to different sides of the
- Ladder 8 was also used as a standpipe system, to supply two hand
lines to the top of the parking deck, where building materials were
staged, and were burning.
- The Links Apartments and the Quorum Center were managed as separate
incidents, using high-rise operational techniques, including carrying
high-rise hose packs to upper floors, using an engine company to boost
pressure to the fire system, and conducting searches of all floors and
occupancies. These incidents were declared under control after 11:00
- As city fire stations were depleted, county fire departments were
requested as mutual aid, to help provide coverage. Fifteen neighboring
departments sent units to assist.
- The main fire was declared under control at 1:10 a.m.
- Roads were closed two blocks in all directions. Raleigh police
officers provided perimeter control.
- At least 257 residents were displaced.
- Five people were treated for smoke inhalation, and one firefighter
was injured by falling glass.
- Wake County EMS provided medical support, including treatment of
patients, and medical monitoring, and rehab for responders.
- Fire resources included: 24 engines (include two squads/rescue
pumpers), seven ladders, one rescue, two mobile air units, and five
Battalion Chiefs. Fire personnel totaled abpit 130 firefighters.
- EMS resources included 12 EMS ambulances, five District Chiefs, and
a Major Operations Support Unit. EMS personnel totaled about 32 medics.
Friday, March 17
- Between 3:00 a.m. and 4:00 a.m., most of the original units were
returned to service. They returned to their stations, and would begin
checking their gear, changing out equipment and hose, and returning to
- By 8:00 a.m., crews were still water in the fire building. Two
aerial streams were still deployed, Ladder 3 and Ladder 9.
- Crews continued extinguishing the fire through the day, to
douse any remaining hot
- Overhaul was started in the affected exposures, with such actions as
removing remaining windows or window glass from the fire-facing side of
the Quorum Building.
- Fire investigators, who were on scene since the time of the fire, were joined by State Bureau of Investigation and
Federal ATF members.
Saturday, March 18
- Firefighters started set-up a mobile shelter, for use for canteen services,
for fire, EMS, and law enforcement personnel on scene.
- Firefighters began escorting residents into their evacuated
buildings, to retrieve possessions in the late morning.
- Fire investigators were joined by members of an ATF national
Sunday, March 19
- Firefighters continued escorting residents into their evacuated
buildings, to retrieve possessions.
- Fire investigators continued their work on scene.
Friday, March 24
- The ATF national response team concluded its work.
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