Condo fire in south Charlotte set intentionally, firefighters say

CHARLOTTE — A condominium fire that occurred in south Charlotte Friday night was set intentionally, according to the Charlotte Fire Department.

The fire began shortly before 6:30 p.m. at the Sharon Place Condominiums on Sharon Road West.

Firefighters rang a second alarm about a few minutes later.

The fire was controlled in 51 minutes, and eight units were damaged, according to the department.

Firefighters said they rescued a woman from the second floor of the apartment building.

The woman was taken to an area hospital with life-threatening injuries, Charlotte Fire said. She may not survive, officials said.

The fire department has not released her name or condition but neighbors said she is in her 80s and had health issues.

“She’s a sweet lady,” resident Linda Coccia said. “She always says hello, but she tends to stay to herself, so every person I have talked to in this area, that’s the first question out of their mouth.”

“It was hectic,” resident Lucas Souva said. “We tried to be calm. The smoke alarms went off. The cats started going crazy. Our main focus was getting the cats out.”

Firefighters said they called a second alarm because of the size of the fire and the hot weather conditions.

Battalion Chief Eric Withers said his firefighters wear three layers that weigh about 50 pounds.

While the gear protects them from the flames, it makes the heat even more unbearable.

He said paramedics were on standby in case firefighters needed treatment.

“When the firefighters come out after their second cylinder, we will turn the gear off, rehydrate,” he said. “MEDIC will assist with the rehab program. From a standpoint, so if firefighters need an IV, we will provide an IV. Then vitals are checked before they put the gear back on and get back into the operation.”

The American Red Cross is helping residents who were impacted by the fire.

Saturday morning, the Charlotte Fire Department announced that they had determined the fire was intentionally set.

However, it remains under investigation.

Anyone with information regarding this incident is asked to call CrimeStoppers at 704-334-1600.

This is a developing story. Check back with wsoctv.com for updates.

VIDEO: Residents pick up pieces after deadly condo fire; no foul play suspected

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