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Cigarette blamed for fatal fire

We now know the cause of that apartment fire that took the life of recent UNCW grad Rory Michaelson over the weekend. Wilmington firefighters said it started on the outside, upper level deck of Michaelson's apartment at Cypress Pointe off New Centre Drive. "It was a windy night, and somehow a spark or a cigarette that was improperly discarded and that started the fire," Battalion Chief David Hines said. "The fire then moved up the outside of the building into the attic area. Once it got into the attic area, it was above any smoke detectors; thus the detectors were not able to pick up and detect it. It disabled the smoke detectors which were electrical or hardwired detectors. The current to the detectors was disabled before the fire could ever reach it to set off the detection devices." The apartment building did not have sprinklers and the smoke detectors did not have a battery back-up. That combination proved to be deadly. A celebration of Michaelson's life will be held Thursday at UNCW. It's open to UNCW students, faculty and staff. Her boyfriend remains in critical condition at the burn center in Chapel Hill.

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I lived in the apartment directly beneath hers for a few months, and I met her a couple of times. She was one of the nicest people I've ever met in my life.... she didn't deserve this. My deepest sympathies go out to all who knew her and loved her.

Fire cause

Time to ban cigarettes altogether. Most everyone I know wants to quit anyway. Gonna kill you slow or like this poor girl.


Which is why apartment complexes to reduce liability should install either a)New electronic detectors with a battery backup (expensive modification) or b)purchase in bulk OR AT LEAST OFFER TO RESIDENTS a cheap, $4 battery operated smoke detector... I think $4 from rent for one month.. Is worth a life...

Cause of Fatal Fire at Apt. Complex

Not the wind. Not the cigarette. Not the spark. The Building Codes are defective . Wooden decks and vinyl siding Substandard fire exits. Inadequate fire stopping to the cockloft. Prevention is the key. All tenants should be evacuated until appropriate fire prevention steps are taken throughout this complex. Respectfully yours, Retired NYC Fire Captain



I agree.............. bye

I agree.............. bye bye yankees!!!!!!! WE DONT CARE HOW YOU DID IT UP NORTH! Come here and join our communities and quit trying to change them or go back home to your nasty cities!!!

An Unsurprising Irony

Why am I not surprised to see you say "FOR THE LOVE OF GOD" in the midst of your ignorant, bigoted, hateful post? I'm not surprised because it is precisely the religious right-wingers like you who lead the nation in intolerance of others. It's sad and pathetic; and it's the reason why the U.S. won't be leading the world in the future.


If you use the expression "For the love of God" you're a religious right-winger? Try this on for size: For the love of God, would you please grow a brain? Congratulations on making the original poster appear bright.

Why would you assume that

Why would you assume that the person who said, "for the love of God" was a "religious right-winger"? I have many friends who don't claim any particular religion who use relgious colloquialisms all the time. I think the real irony is that your post indicates YOUR intolerance - and your comment is completely out of place in light of the nature of this article. A beautiful, kind young woman, full of life and potential is dead. Perhaps we should all strive to become someone LIKE her and take a moment to pray for her family instead of lashing out at a strangers out of our own hatred.