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Grandfather dies in east Charlotte house fire, paramedics say

CHARLOTTE — Family and community remember a grandfather who died Tuesday morning when a fire broke out at an east Charlotte home.

It happened just after 6 a.m. on Lanterntree Lane in the Lamplighter East mobile home park. It’s off of Albemarle Road near Harrisburg Road.

MEDIC said one person died. He was later identified as 77-year-old Aurelio Marcelo.

Channel 9 crews arrived on the scene around 6:40 a.m. to find flames shooting out of the house.

Charlotte Fire said it took crews 50 minutes to control the blaze. At the scene, Capt. Brian Cunningham said four dogs were rescued from the home.

A woman told Channel 9′s Almiya White she was walking her girls to the bus stop Tuesday morning when she noticed the mobile home was on fire.

“I feel bad for them, you know?” Zorida Mader said crying.

Mader said she called 911.

“I wanted to get there before the firefighters but I couldn’t because the gate was closed,” she said. Firefighters later knocked down the fence to get to the house, which family members are working to repair.

“But to hear from you guys that somebody passed away, and it breaks my heart because, you know, you don’t wake up to see this,” she added.

Marcelo’s grandson told Channel 9′s Evan Donovan that his family is from Peru. His grandfather had recently returned from there after visiting for several months.

“He was a well-respected man, he was sweet, funny, quite a character, liked to joke around a lot. But was always caring. Always there for his grandkids, his family,” Jorge Marcelo said.

He said he’ll never forget his grandfather’s infectious personality or “his laugh and his smile. It was very peaceful to see him laugh and smile.”

Marcelo is survived by 4 siblings and lots of grandkids and great-grandkids.

An investigation determined the cause of the fire was accidental and occurred in the area of an electric panel, according to the fire department.

Firefighters are checking the smoke detector to see if it failed. They want everyone to use the fire as a reminder to check your smoke detectors.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.

(WATCH BELOW: House fire under investigation in Northeast Charlotte)

Almiya White

Almiya White, wsoctv.com

Almiya White is a reporter for WSOC-TV

Evan Donovan

Evan Donovan, wsoctv.com

Evan is an anchor and reporter for Channel 9.

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