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Friday Marks One Year Anniversary of Historic Downtown Raleigh Fire

RALEIGH, March 14, 2018 — Friday marks the one-year anniversary of the historic downtown Raleigh apartment fire which serves as a reminder to check smoke alarm batteries and create a home fire escape plan.

The five-alarm fire that engulfed an under-construction high-rise in downtown Raleigh was the largest fire in the city since the 1920s. The Red Cross aided more than 100 people who were forced to evacuate from neighboring apartment buildings.

Since the downtown Raleigh fire, 1,641 families in Eastern North Carolina (53 counties) have been forced from their homes because of fire – the most common disaster in the country. But the Red Cross was there to help, providing emergency relief onsite. 

“Every day, about five families in Eastern North Carolina lose their homes to fire, and this structure fire was no exception,” said Barry Porter, regional CEO of the Red Cross in Eastern North Carolina. “It is our job at the Red Cross to ensure our neighbors get back on their feet after a devastating disaster and help prepare them for the future.”

Across the country, seven people die in home fires every day, most in homes that lack working smoke alarms. Checking smoke alarms and creating an escape plan can save lives.


This spring, the Red Cross will Sound the Alarm through a nationwide series of home fire safety and smoke alarm installation events from April 28 to May 13, 2018. Sound the Alarm – Raleigh will be held May 5. 

To request a free smoke alarm, call your local Red Cross office, or visit and fill out a request form.

About the American Red Cross:

The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit or, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.