Charlotte apartment fire displaces 17 people; 5 units affected

North Carolina

Credit: CFD

CHARLOTTE, NC (FOX 46 CHARLOTTE) – The Charlotte Fire Department has released more information following a major apartment fire that displaced at least 17 people Monday evening. They say five units were affected.

Roofers and fire assessment crews were already working on the building on Runaway Bay Drive Tuesday. One worker, who says she spoke to the occupant in the unit where the fire started, claims an older gentleman dropped a lighter and was unable to easily retrieve it. That sparked the blaze. Charlotte fire officials confirm the fire was accidental.

Kiana Edwards lives in a unit just feet away from where the fire started.

“I was upstairs and I heard a lot of cracking and popping,” she said. “Then, I started seeing the trail of smoke going towards the lake and I was like, ‘uh, that’s not normal.’’

Edwards says she’s thankful no one was injured, that the blaze didn’t spread further than it did and for the prompt response of emergency personnel.

“They got to it pretty quick. By the time we got outside, they were already on the roof trying to extinguish it,” said Edwards.

The Charlotte Fire Department says the fire caused about $110,000 worth of damage.

The American Red Cross says they were called in to assist the victims. They say they are helping with shelter, food, and clothing.

“We’re supporting multiple families, including 17 individuals, to support their immediate needs following the disaster,” said Regional Executive Allison Taylor.

Taylor says this is the time of year where it’s common to see an uptick of home fires, as people turn on their heat, hang holiday lights, or light their fireplaces. She says now is the time for families to check their smoke alarms and ensure they have an emergency plan in place in case a fire does occur.

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