RALEIGH, N.C. — A huge five-alarm fire broke out in downtown Raleigh Thursday night.
The fire happened around 10 p.m. at a building under construction at 400 W. North St., WTVD reports. No one lived in the building.
Eyewitnesses said it looked as if the fire started on the second floor, but police and fire officials have not confirmed the suspicion.
As flames engulfed the building, 10 neighboring buildings were damaged by the blaze, with severe damage to five. A crane used at the construction site also collapsed.
“They immediately tried to put water on it but as they approached they noticed it was a lot of heavy fire,” Raleigh Fire Department Assistant Chief Brad Harvey told WTVD. “Especially under construction. The wood is not protected and the fire moves very rapidly. We’re very fortunate tonight.”
By 1 a.m., the fire appeared to be under control. Crews were still spraying the burnt structure with water at 5 a.m. to extinguish any hot spots.
At one point, there were more than 130 firefighters on scene.
The cause of the fire is not yet known.
Many people took to social media on Thursday night sharing photos and videos of the blaze, which is blanketing downtown Raleigh in smoke and ashes.
Editor’s note: Some tweets below contain videos with graphic language. Viewer discretion is advised.
Downtown Raleigh watch tower crane fall pic.twitter.com/GsLRCEQwuL
— Danny Horton (@Danny51legend) March 17, 2017
— Jay Nakai (@JayNakai) March 17, 2017
— Dave Stein (@DaveStein425) March 17, 2017
So Raleigh is on fire pic.twitter.com/vZ6905FNS0
— Tyler Breazeale (@tyler_breazeale) March 17, 2017
— Jeff (@wku_topper) March 17, 2017
— Jeff Smith (@jeffsmitts) March 17, 2017
— Ahmauni (@ninialazae) March 17, 2017
Sec. Kluttz and husband got out of building near #RaleighFire. God bless the firefighters and first responders. Praying for their safety!
— Pat McCrory (@PatMcCroryNC) March 17, 2017