Fire breaks out at downtown Raleigh building

(Copyright by WSLS - All rights reserved)

RALEIGH, NC (WRAL) An apartment building under construction in downtown Raleigh was engulfed in flames Thursday night.

The five-story building near the corner of West and North streets caught fire just after 10 p.m. The building is adjacent to the Glenwood South restaurant and bar district.

The fire had escalated to a five alarm blaze by 11 p.m.

Nearby buildings and residents were being evacuated and it appeared power was knocked out in several nearby buildings.

A shelter has been opened at the Church of the Good Shepherd at 125 Hillsborough Street for anybody who was evacuated as a result of the fire.

West North Street was closed as firefighters battled the blaze. Capital Boulevard was closed between Wade Avenue and Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and Glenwood Avenue was closed between Wade Avenue and West Morgan streets as a result of the fire.

The fire had spread to another high-rise building by about 10:30 p.m. and the flames were affecting the roofs of several nearby buildings. Firefighters were saying there was a possibility that people could be trapped inside.

"It's sad is what it is. I'm hoping that the whole block isn't on fire," said one resident near the fire.

At least three buildings on McDowell Street were affected by the fire.

The building that caught fire is next door to the Link at Glenwood South apartment buildings. It was unclear if that building was affected.

Water was being thrown on many nearby buildings to prevent the fire from spreading further.