Pineville firefighter killed battling blaze at shopping center

- A Pineville firefighter was killed and two were injured battling a blaze Saturday night just after 9 p.m. in Pineville.

Authorities say 20-year-old Richard Sheltra lost his life in the line of duty while trying to put out a fire at Edwin Watts golf store located in the Countryside Shopping Center at 8500 Pineville-Matthews Road.

Three alarms were sounded and dozens of firefighters, including those from the Charlotte Fire Department, rushed to the scene.

Firefighters found Sheltra in distress and immediately removed him from the building. He was then transported to Carolinas Medical Center Main in Charlotte where he died.

Charlotte Fire Chief Jon Hannan said the other firefighter removed from the building has non-life threatening injuries. He worked for both Pineville and Charlotte Fire Departments.

Officials say the cause of the fire is still under investigation and it may take some time to piece together what happened.

Sheltra served the Pineville Volunteer Fire Department as a volunteer firefighter for three years. He is survived by his mother, father and sister.

“This is a very sad day for our department, in particular the Pineville Community, as we mourn the passing of a friend, a brother and very dedicated volunteer,” Pineville Volunteer Fire Department Chief Michael Gerin said.

Mecklenburg County, York County and Lancaster County Fire Departments and the N.C. State Fire Association are providing support to the Pineville Volunteer Fire Department as firefighters mourn this tragic loss.

A memorial service with full fire department honors is currently being planned. 

Fox 46 Charlotte will bring you more information as it becomes available.

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