CHARLOTTE — A 1-year-old girl was severely burned after a fire broke out at an apartment complex Tuesday morning in east Charlotte, according to police.
The Charlotte Fire Department responded to the blaze at Heritage Park Apartments on Snow Lane at around 7 a.m.
The girl was taken to Wake Forest Burn Center to be treated for life-threatening injuries.
“Right now, the only thing I can say is I’m praying for the child because that’s an innocent baby. That’s a life somebody is playing with and right now, since this morning, I’m speechless,” a witness at the scene said.
Resident George Scott heard someone pounding on his door.
“I have sleep apnea, so I sleep with a mask on that covers my nose and my mouth,” Scott said.
He couldn’t smell the smoke with the mask on that helps him sleep.
The sound of someone kicking his door woke him up.
“I got to the door and could tell it was him, and once I opened the door, I could smell smoke,” Scott said “So I was, like, ‘Oh my goodness, what’s going on?’ And he was, like, ‘Man, the building was on fire.’”
Officials said 46 firefighters were able to control the fire in fewer than 10 minutes. They struck a second alarm, meaning they asked for additional crews to respond to the blaze.
“I woke up to smoke, to black smoke and they told me to get out of the apartment,” neighbor Tony Harper said.
Idlewild Road North was closed between Lawyers Road and W.T. Harris Boulevard for several hours because emergency vehicles were blocking the road.
Police were already at the scene responding to what firefighters said was a “police matter” before the fire broke out, Charlotte Fire said. Those officers called firefighters to respond to the fire.
No first responders were hurt, fire officials said.
A source told Channel 9 that the fire did not appear to be intentionally set, but it was too early in the investigation to identify a cause.
A Channel 9 crew saw officers take a person into custody at the scene. We have reached out to police for more information.
The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department is the lead agency investigating the fire.
The American Red Cross said volunteers are helping 16 people who were displaced by the fire. The flames impacted eight units at the apartment complex.
Check back on wsoctv.com for updates.
(WATCH BELOW: One hurt in house fire in southeast Charlotte, officials say)
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