Firefighters honored who fought massive downtown Raleigh fire

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — It was more than a month ago that a five-alarm fire erupted in downtown Raleigh damaging 10 nearby buildings, five severely.


First responders risked their lives as they spent hours working to control the flames.

“There was a lot to say about the building material that was on fire, flying over our heads. Normally, we see embers. This was full chunks. And, it was a really complex scenario,” said Seth Komansky of Wake County EMS.

Those dozens of men and women were honored Monday for their efforts.

More than 100 firefighters came from different areas of Wake County to help put out the fire and Wake County commissioners recognized those men and women.

It’s been a little over a month now since one of Raleigh’s largest fires that city has seen in 100 years. Around 130 firefighters battle the flames with crews working in 90-minute to two-hour shifts.

Komansky was the first supervisor on the scene a month ago after the fire started at the Metropolitan Building.

“Teamwork and communication is huge with this, and we did very well at that,” Komansky said.

“One of the things that we do is run a smaller event like a larger event would be, so that you can just scale up what you’re used to doing every day,” said Jeffrey Hammerstein, assistant chief of Wake County EMS.

But, the fire in downtown Raleigh wasn’t an every day fire.

That’s why Wake County Commissioners wanted to take the time to recognize people from a dozen agencies who showed up to help.

Weeks later, about 80 people are still unable to move back into their homes.

The firefighters were recognized at 2 p.m. at the Wake County Justice Center.

Fire investigators are still working to determine the cause of the fire.

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