Construction worker rescued from top of crane during huge fire in SouthPark

CHARLOTTE — As firefighters battled a massive fire at a building in SouthPark from below, a harrowing scene unfolded Thursday morning as one crew member dangled from above.

A five-alarm fire broke out around 9 a.m. Thursday at an apartment complex that was under construction. When Chopper 9 Skyzoom flew over the scene, our crews spotted one construction worker stuck at the top of a crane that was over the apartment building.

Thick smoke rose above to the crane cab, where the crane operator waited for a rescue. By about 10:30 a.m., the construction worker was still at the top of the crane.

Shortly before 10:50 a.m., the crane operator was rescued, according to Channel 9′s Hannah Goetz. He appeared to be uninjured.

Goetz reported that the operator was a general contractor with Mill Creek.

Mill Creek sent the following statement to Channel 9 Thursday: “Our No. 1 priority is the health and safety of the people who were working there today and those in the surrounding area. Our thoughts are with those who were impacted and their friends and family members. We are gathering as much information as possible on what occurred and will take the appropriate measures to address today’s incident.”

Construction worker Demonte Sherrill, 30, died in the blaze, family said. Charlotte Fire confirmed another person died also.

Mill Creek sent a second statement to Channel 9 Friday: “We are deeply saddened by the tragic passing of the two people who were missing in the construction fire that took place yesterday. This is the worst thing that can happen in our industry and there are no words that can express the emotions we are experiencing from this loss. Our thoughts are with the victims’ loved ones.”

Channel 9 is working on getting more information on the rescue. Check back for updates.

(WATCH: Massive fire breaks out in SouthPark area of Charlotte)

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