Fire crews are responding to a massive fire in SouthPark.
- The five-alarm fire broke out just after 9am at an apartment building construction site in the 7700 block of Liberty Row Drive. The five-alarm is the most serious category of fire.
The latest: As of 1pm, two construction workers are unaccounted for. Charlotte Fire Department is still working to extinguish the fire and determine the cause.
- There were over 90 firefighters on the scene who rescued 15 construction site workers, including a man who was trapped in a crane. He was transported by medic with non-life-threatening injuries.
- As of late Thursday, Charlotte Fire could not confirm any casualties.
What they’re saying: Chief Reginald Johnson told reporters this was a fast-moving fire because of the wood, with temperatures well over 2,000 degrees. There were two mayday calls, when firefighters themselves were trapped and had to be rescued. First responders also tackled spot fires caused by embers spreading.
- “The men and women of this department put themselves in harm’s way and actually had to call for assistance themselves to get out of this fire,” the chief said. “That’s how fast it was moving. I’m proud of the work that we’ve done here.”
Of note: People should avoid the area, specifically Liberty Row Drive, Fairview Road, Assembly Street, Barclay Downs Drive and Park South Drive.
- The public is asked not to call 911 unless there is an emergency.
- This Thursday’s SouthPark After 5 at Symphony Park is canceled.
Zoom in: As of noon, clumps of ash are collecting outside of the Tryon Medical building. Patients with appointments at Novant are walking several blocks because of road closures.
- At the Hilton, a housekeeper is surveying the damage to her new car. A small hole has been burnt just below the windshield.
- A nurse practitioner with Tryon Medical tells us, “You could smell the smoke instantly.” The medical center started evacuating about 15 to 20 minutes after the fire broke out. Many of the patients have lung conditions.
- Two Piedmont Town Center was being evacuated as of 11:25am.
Earlier this morning, around 10am, Molly Livingstone was watching the fire from the rooftop next door at 6302 Fairview Drive. “You could feel the blast of heat when the elevator door to the roof opened,” she said.
- Melissa Nemec said she saw helicopters and a mass casualty truck arriving. “Sirens haven’t stopped for over an hour now,” she said.
- “It looks like the middle of the building is completely gone,” a witness in SouthPark told Axios. “Fire is now largest on the left and right side. Fire started in the middle of the building.”
This is a developing story.
STRUCTURE FIRE UPDATE: 7700 block Liberty Row Dr. 4th Alarm. pic.twitter.com/xy8iGO4Jjj
— Charlotte Fire Dept (@CharlotteFD) May 18, 2023
THREAD: Videos from the SouthPark fire. pic.twitter.com/coAouu888h
— alexandria sands (@alexsands_) May 18, 2023