Roof partially collapses as home destroyed in fire

by: Jim Bradley Updated:


MINT HILL, N.C. - Investigators still don’t know what started a massive fire that destroyed a home Thursday morning on Eagle Claw Court in Mint Hill.
Emergency crews were still on scene Thursday afternoon and smoke could still be seen from the fire that closed off roads and sent dozens of firefighters rushing to the neighborhood.
The house still stands, barely, a skeleton of what it was before. Minutes before 11 a.m., a neighbor drove by and with her cellphone recorded the flames leaping through the roof.
Crews from seven volunteer fire departments surrounded the house, which gushed so much smoke it could be seen miles away in the center of Mint Hill, where Leslye Vasser was shopping.
“I got excited, because my house is right behind (here), and I needed to come over here to find out what was going on,” she said.
Vasser saw smoke and flames while firefighters saw a roofline collapsing right in front of them. It was so quick, they barely had time to get out of the way.
“We had to pull our guys out of three different times because of how much fire had spread through the structure at the time,” said Assistant Chief David Leath with Mint Hill Volunteer Fire Department.
More than two hours went by, with firefighters battling hot spots, before others were able to move inside.
Investigators huddled with the owner, who said he or she had left around 8 a.m.
Jerry Cifaldi said when he heard there was a fire, he rushed home to make sure it wasn’t his home.
“It’s terrible,” he said.
Fire investigators have not said how or where the fire may have started. Initial indications don't point to anything suspicious.