Investigators now know what caused the fire that destroyed part of an apartment complex over the weekend.
The New Hanover County Fire Department says improper disposal of a cigarette ignited the fire at the Meridian Village apartment complex near Northchase in Wilmington.
The fire started on the second story balcony and quickly spread to the attic. Dozens of people were forced out of their apartments. Roger Farrior helped knock on doors and pull people out of the burning building. “I was in there laying in the bed and I heard some popping noise and I thought somebody was shooting and then I actually came outside and looked and there was a fire over there and went over and threw my shirt on and by the time I got there the police went upstairs at the same time and told the people to come out”, recalls Farrior.
Firefighters say a sprinkler system installed may be the only reason no one was hurt or killed. A similar fire in January killed UNCW Grad Rory Michaelson. There was no sprinkler system installed at that apartment complex.