RALEIGH A massive five-alarm fire lit up downtown Raleigh overnight. The blaze started around 10 p.m. and firefighters were able to extinguish the flames by 1:30 a.m. While the cause is still being investigated, fire officials say it erupted in an apartment building that was under construction near the corner of Harrington and Jones Streets in the 400 block of W. North Street, just a couple of blocks from the N.C. General Assembly. The inferno spread to adjacent buildings, forcing evacuations. Ten buildings were ultimately affected. Some took shelter with help from the Red Cross in a nearby church. Power and stoplights were out around the legislative area of the city.Only one minor injury was reported.Twitter users across the city were posting pictures of the Raleigh skyline painted an eerie orange while downtown residents and bar patrons filled the streets, texting friends to check on their safety. The area has become a popular home to young professionals in recent years with condo and apartment buildings popping up frequently. According to the Downtown Raleigh Alliance, property values for downtown have increased by 31 percent since 2008 and there has been a 106% increase in land value for the area.More than 15,000 people live within one mile of the state capital building and the growth in new residential housing is expected to attract nearly 2,500 more people to downtown.
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