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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — An apartment fire in Wilmington yesterday left five families homeless. Neighbors say a man passing by noticed the fire from the alley and quickly tried to notify tenants of the danger.

From the front of the historic home on Orange Street, you would never be able to tell that there was a devastating fire Wednesday night that ripped through the home, displacing residents in all seven of the apartments and killing two pets.

From the backyard of 806 Orange Street, the damage is apparent. Neighbors say firefighters responded quickly and worked for about six hours to get the fire under control.

“They got here really quickly, and they went in with all their gear, busted out all the windows and got water on it,” neighbor Troy Rudeseal said. “It took them a long time to get it under control, but they did an amazing job.”

Rudeseal lives next door. He says the fire was so big, he was worried it would spread to his home.

“They’re very close together, and the flames were blowing this way, and it was dropping hot ash onto our house, so I was concerned at one point that our house would catch fire, too, because it’s easy for it to spread from house to house,” Rudeseal said.

Investigators say the fire was accidental and started in a wall heater on the second floor. None of the residents were home when it started, but two cats died.

Investigators say there is about $200,000 of damage to the house, which, for now, is not livable. The fire also damaged an estimated $75,000 of personal items.

We tried to talk to one of the victims moving today, but she said she was too upset to talk.

Rudeseal’s home may not have been damaged, as he tried to get valuables out of his house, he lost his wallet. By late last night someone had maxed out all of his credit cards.

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9 Comments on "Fire leaves five families homeless, ruled accident"

2015 years 10 months ago

And could it be the owner of the cards saw an opportunity to go on a quick shopping spree and have someone to blame?

2015 years 10 months ago

i have known troy for MANY years, and i can assure you that he did not max out his own cards…YOU are a class A d****e for saying that.

2015 years 10 months ago

Well golly, if you say so.

2015 years 10 months ago

it’s totally plausible that Troy (while carrying his children and gathering valuables to save in case the house went up, helping the fireman gain access through his own yard and watching his neighbors house go up in flames) magically transported himself and spent over $200 bucks at kangaroo express on snacks!

seriously i can’t even believe that somebody suggested that! we cancelled the cards asap (while firemen were still here by the way) but not before they were overdrafted. a police report was filed the next day. we are working on getting the exact location to the police so they can check the tapes.

it was just a crappy thing for someone to do while there was such a tragic thing happening. i hope d****ebag never has any of these things happen to him/her.

2015 years 10 months ago

The people in and around that neighborhood are so opportunistic, in that they’ll steal anything from anyone, at any time. Jerks. I hope they catch the person.

2015 years 10 months ago

Nice neighborhood, huh?

2015 years 10 months ago

the perp will be on film where the cards were used.

2015 years 10 months ago

Exactly what I was thinking.

Guess he’s got the wrong credit cards. My CC company shut off my card last week, and told me I needed to call them. They told me that they limited my card due to suspected fraudulent activity, then listed charges in Virginia, and a shoe store in France, among others. They wanted to know if they were valid charges. As IF! I wasn’t liable for any of it, and they sent me a new card. Funny thing is, I hadn’t used that card in about 6 months.

2015 years 10 months ago

It takes a low class person to kick a man while he’s down like that. Didn’t he lose enough in the fire? I hope they catch the person that did it.


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