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UPDATE: Evidence shows Carolina Beach condo fire started in smoking area

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CAROLINA BEACH, NC (WWAY) — The Carolina Beach Fire Department released new details about the massive fire at Paradise Cove on April 2 including where the fire started.

According to a release from Carolina Beach Fire Chief Alan Griffin, video footage and eyewitness accounts have provided the investigators a proximate location of where the fire started. Investigators currently have no data to support an intentionally set fire, mechanical failure, or any building feature that would have contributed to the start of the fire.

The investigators have determined the location where the fire started was a common area where building occupants went to smoke. Investigators confirmed there were multiple residents who had smoked on the property the day of the fire.

The high winds and the location of the fire being outside of units and in an area with no fire sprinklers or smoke detection allowed the fire to rapidly spread undetected and cut off all stairways for building occupants to exit safely.

The investigators are in the process of finalizing all the evidence and data and are not making an official ruling on the fire cause at this time. We ask that anyone with any information, pictures, or videos please contact Carolina Beach Fire Department at 910-458-2985.

A team of investigators from the Carolina Beach Fire Department, Carolina Beach Police Department, North Carolina State Bureau of Investigations and the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms performed a thorough investigation including interviews with residents and witnesses, Reviewing all video surveillance footage from multiple sources, photo’s, social media posts, and video footage that was available. They also conducted a thorough on-scene investigation of the fire building to determine fire location and how the fire spread throughout the building.

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