5 homes damaged after massive fire in Steele Creek neighborhood

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Firefighters are working to determine what caused a massive fire that spread to several homes in a Steele Creek neighborhood early Wednesday morning.

It started around 3 a.m. in a neighborhood along Selkirkshire Road, which is near the Charlotte Premium Outlets.

Officials said two firefighters were taken to the hospital, but they are both expected to be OK. No other injuries were reported.

When Channel 9 got to the neighborhood, our crew could see flames shooting from the roofs and smoke pouring from the windows and out of holes in the siding.

The Mecklenburg County fire marshal told reporter Anthony Kustura three houses were heavily damaged and five were impacted in total. The damage ranges from caved in roofs to melted siding and busted windows.

The houses had vinyl siding, which firefighters said is more flammable than other material. They also said they were rushed to save the surrounding homes since there was only about 12-feet between each of them.

The fire grew so quickly, fire officials said they are grateful it didn’t spread to more homes.

“It’s extremely difficult. It takes multiple crews to different action at the same time. Our goal is to get it from taking other houses down with it,” Assistant Fire Chief Jason Hardin said.

One neighbor told Channel 9 she walked outside and saw massive flames and plumes of smoke everywhere.

“It was kind of dangerous because the wind was blowing the sparks all over,” neighbor Marla Tempelaar said. “We were hoping it wasn’t going to spread, but it did. It’s been a terrible year. Hopefully they’ll have a nice, warm place to stay tonight.”

Another neighbor who didn’t want to go on camera said a neighbor banged on his door, waking him up because his roof and several rooms were on fire. He managed to escape along with his two cats.

The blaze prompted a large response from several area agencies including the Steele Creek Fire, Charlotte Fire and Pineville Fire departments as well as Charlotte-Mecklenburg police. More than two dozen firefighters from the three departments helped to get the fire under control.

Authorities have not said what caused the fire and how much damage it did to the homes, but the Mecklenburg County fire marshal will be investigating.

The Red Cross told Channel 9 they have crews helping the residents with temporary housing. Some neighbors said they are going to start some fundraising efforts to help the impacted families.

No other information has been released.

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