Fire started by candle caused $1M in damage to Charlotte apartments

CHARLOTTE — A massive fire that tore through a south Charlotte apartment complex over the weekend was started by an unattended candle, investigators said. Multiple people were left without homes.

The Charlotte Fire Department was called around 2 p.m. Sunday to the SouthPark Commons Apartments on Hedley Way, just off Quail Hallow Road. At the scene, firefighters were met with heavy smoke and flames pouring out of the building.

More than 50 firefighters worked together to control the flames in about 20 minutes. One firefighter had minor injuries and no civilians were hurt, Charlotte Fire said.

On Monday, investigators said the blaze began accidentally when an unattended candle caught something on fire.

Jhaniyah, a neighbor who lives in an adjacent building, says she and her family had never seen anything like that before, and their thoughts immediately went to the tenants involved.

“The only thing we were hoping for was that people made it out alive and nothing happened to them, because I know up on the third floor there are dogs up there,” Jhaniyah said.

Between five and six units were damaged by the fire. Firefighter Justin Phillips said he’s grateful it wasn’t any worse.

“At this time, we have no reports of any civilian injuries,” he said. “We have two minor firefighter injuries; they were both treated and not transported to the hospital.”

“It’s very, very scary,” Jhaniyah said. “Honestly, I don’t think I can go to sleep tonight knowing that this happened.”

The Red Cross is helping the people who were displaced by the fire.

Charlotte Fire estimates the blaze caused $1 million worth of damage.

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