• 8 families displaced after large condo fire near Lake Norman

    By: Gina Esposito

    Updated:

    LAKE NORMAN, N.C. - Officials said several people were displaced after a massive condo fire near Lake Norman Monday morning.

    Several fire departments were called to the Admiral's Quarters condos on Nautical Drive off Catawba Avenue around 4:30 a.m.

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    The American Red Cross said it's providing 30 people with resources, including eight families who need temporary housing.

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    According to officials, the bulk of the flames were contained within an hour and there were no injuries.

    The Mecklenburg County Fire Marshall said the fire started on a third floor deck and spread into the attic. The flames then consumed the upper structure, causing the roof on units at the front and backside of the building to collapse.

    Channel 9 was there as investigators walked through the units to assess the damage. Officials said several condos were destroyed by fire and water.

     

     

    Eyewitness News reporter Gina Esposito said she could see an orange glow and smoke from Interstate 77 around 5 a.m. as she was headed to the scene.

    Crews worked swiftly to knock out the huge flames as evacuated residents watched from the sidewalk.

    "We came outside and there was smoke everywhere, and everybody was crowding watching. It was kind of horrific watching everything being consumed by the fire. Thankfully, I think everybody is safe," said resident Atlee Northmore.

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    Residents said they knocked on doors to wake people up when the flames erupted and provided blankets to help neighbors as they stood outside in the cold.

    "The daughter of the guy we know was outside with no jacket, no shoes, kinda just rushed stuff down to them to make sure they are all right," said one resident.

     

     

    Molly McClure owns a condo in the complex and said she barely had time to grab her cat before the flames ripped through her condo.

    "We felt the whole house shutter and I knew something wasn't right. I saw a tree branch or something fell, but then I looked outside and it was orange," she said. "I was watching the other guy's house burn and I was praying it wouldn't reach our house, but eventually it did."

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    McClure said she and her husband saved their cat.

    The McClure's were forced to leave two pet pythons behind, but firefighters rescued them. Firefighters also recovered the McClure's wedding ring, band and Bible.

    Officials said a Charlotte Area Transit System bus was called to assist displaced residents with shelter from the cold.

    Lincoln County officials confirmed they dispatched Denver's fire boat to help battle the blaze.

    The Mecklenburg County Fire Marshall is working to determine the cause of the fire.

    This is an ongoing investigation. Check back with wsoctv.com for updates.

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