CHARLOTTE — Police are investigating after someone died in a massive condominium fire that left much of Uptown Charlotte surrounded in a cloud of smoke Tuesday afternoon.
Chopper 9 Skyzoom flew over Springfield Square, which is on Eighth Street between Graham Street and Pine Street, around 1:30 p.m. The area is in Uptown’s Fourth Ward neighborhood.
Flames and smoke billowed from the condos and several crews and fire engines were at the scene fighting the blaze.
One person died and many lost their homes. According to Charlotte-Mecklenburg police, officers were helping Charlotte Fire with the condo fire when firefighters found the body.
“Unfortunately, one victim perished in the fire,” Charlotte Fire tweeted. “Pending notification of the next of kin, the identity of the person is not currently available for release.”
According to a CMPD report, the victim was a 69-year-old woman. No further information was released about her identity.
“Whether you know the people or not, your heart has to go out to them,” said Mark Muescher, a witness. “All day long. It was like geez, it’s horrible.”
Charlotte Fire issued a second alarm on the fire, which means they increased the amount of manpower and resources sent to the scene.
Dozens of firefighters utilized at least two ladder trucks to battle the blaze on Graham Street, which was blocked off between Sixth and 10th streets.
“Just saw a fire truck pull up and started running toward my unit, looking up,” said Hannah Ribotto, a resident. “So, I ran out onto my patio to see what they were looking at and saw smoke. So, I ran upstairs, grabbed my dog, and ran out front.”
Just before 2 p.m., firefighters had significantly knocked the flames down.
Charlotte Fire said CMPD officers helped knock on doors to notify residents about what was happening.
“You could kind of hear the wind whipping the fire. I think it was a big issue for it spreading, but they got it under control, which is amazing,” one neighbor told Donovan.
Caroline Miller said her sister ran out of her condo without her shoes on.
“Outside there was some smoke so she ran out and ran outside so she escaped the fire,” Miller said. “The cat ran upstairs so she ran back for the cat and tried to find him but he had somewhere and she couldn’t find him.”
It took 60 firefighters to get it under control.
Fourteen units were affected and The American Red Cross is helping 16 residents who were displaced, Charlotte Fire tweeted later Tuesday night.
Police asked anyone with information to call 704-432-TIPS. Information can also be left anonymously with Crime Stoppers at 704-334-1600 or by clicking here.
The cause of the fire is under investigation.
This is a developing story. Check back for updates.
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