The building is located adjacent to the Glenwood South restaurant and bar district, officials said.
The fire escalated to a five alarm blaze by 11 p.m. Thursday. The flames quickly spread to another building where people were said to be possibly trapped inside, fire officials said. The fire damaged 10 other surrounding buildings in total.
Nearby buildings and homes were evacuated. Water was being thrown on many nearby buildings to prevent the fire from spreading further.
One of the buildings affected, the Office of the NC State Firefighters' Association, suffered extensive damage. The building sustained significant water and some heat damage. All the windows on the Jones Street side were blown out by heat and all the offices on the Jones Street side had sprinklers activated, according to the NC State Firefighters' Association.
A representative from the NCSFA said in a statement:
"We are going to have to find alternate office space for the time being. I suspect repairing the damage to this building will take more than 6 months. The Board and Staff of NCSFA would like to let you know that for a few days, service will be intermittent, but we will get things back up to 100% as rapidly as possible."
Two people who lived across the street from the fire said they suffered water damage from sprinklers and heat damage from the burning building, according to AP.
Accountant Brent Williams and retirement planner Robert Devay said 'they've probably lost most of what they owned' in their 2-bedroom apartment they shared.
The two were watching the NCAA basketball tournament when they saw the flames.
The Associated Press reports Williams said they moved to his bedroom because of the heat and then a window popped in from the fire. He said they headed out as police ordered everyone out.
Watch live on Facebook:
The Associated Press contributed to this report.