Three-Alarm Fire at Carol Woods Tuesday, June 27
The Chapel Hill Fire Department responded to a structure fire at the fitness center of the Carol Woods Retirement Community, 750 Weaver Dairy Road, at 3:46 p.m. Tuesday, June 27.
While no residents were harmed in the fire, two firefighters -- one from Chapel Hill and one from Carrboro -- were transported to UNC Hospitals for treatment for heat exposure.
“We’re grateful for our community partners who came together to ensure the safety of the residents and staff of Carol Woods and to also ensure our emergency responders remained safe,” said Deputy Fire Chief Matt Lawrence. “This was an aggressive fire on a hot, humid day. We’re very thankful no one was seriously injured.”
Smoke affected the adjacent residential building forcing 39 residents to evacuate the 40-unit building. Chapel Hill Transit provided buses to assist Carol Woods to get the displaced residents out of the heat while fire officials cleared the smoke out of the building and assessed the damage. The fire did not spread to any residential buildings.
Smoke was seen coming out of the roof when the first fire apparatus arrived, and within two minutes, flames were visible through the roof of the fitness center. Command was quickly established at the scene and made the request for a second and third alarm dispatching about 15 apparatus and 44 personnel to the scene from Chapel Hill, Carrboro, New Hope, Durham, North Chatham and Orange Rural fire departments, as well as Chapel Hill Police, Orange County Emergency Services and South Orange Rescue Squad.
The fire was completely out within about an hour. However, crews remained on the scene for several hours aggressively checking for hot spots. Residence management and fire officials cleared the residential building of smoke and checked for smoke damage. Residents were allowed to return by around 8 p.m.
Orange County Emergency Services provided emergency operations support by way of food and drinks for the emergency personnel as well as being on standby to provide additional resources if requested. The American Red Cross was on standby to assist the displaced residents if needed but was released when signs showed the residents would be able to return. Automatic mutual aid partners in Orange, Durham and Chatham counties also provided coverage throughout town while resources were focused on this incident.
Chapel Hill Transit also provided a bus in which emergency personnel could cool off during the incident.
The cause of the fire is currently under investigation.
For more information, contact Ran Northam, community safety communications specialist, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 919-969-4878.