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Four-alarm fire breaks out at apartment building near UNCG

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GREENSBORO, N.C. -- A four-alarm fire broke out Thursday night at an unoccupied apartment building on West Lee Street near UNC-Greensboro.

About 75 firefighters responded to the building, which is under construction, shortly before 9 p.m.  No injuries were reported.

The next-door Lofts on Lee apartment building, which houses about 30 UNCG students, was evacuated as a precaution.  About 17 students were in the Lofts apartments when the fire broke out, firefighters said.

UNCG officials say affected students have been assigned housing and are being assisted by university officials in addition to the Red Cross.  Fire officials say the students will be allowed to re-enter the apartments at some point on Friday to collect their belongings.

City inspectors will determine whether the Lofts apartments suffered any damage from the blaze.

All lanes of West Lee Street are closed between South Aycock Street and Silver Avenue while authorities investigate.  Fire officials were still on the scene as of 9 a.m. Friday.

Police say they expect the street to reopen sometime Friday afternoon.  Drivers are asked to use alternate routes in the meantime.

The apartment building that caught fire was one of four residence halls that was to be part of the new Spartan Village.  Upon completion, it was expected to house about 200 upperclassmen.  A 25,000-square-foot police station was also to be part of the complex.

The new Spartan Village was expected to be complete by this summer.  It is not clear what kind of effect the fire will have on the construction timeline.

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