CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Charlotte Firefighters are reminding everyone about the importance of smoke detectors, not only having them, but making sure they work. This after two people were killed in two separate fires just hours apart in Charlotte Friday.
Firefighters say in both cases it appears smoke detectors were in the homes, but they may not have been working.
The first fire happened just after midnight along Birchcrest Drive in East Charlotte. Investigators say it appears a discarded cigarette started a fire in the bedroom of the home. One person was unable to make it out alive.
The second fire happened about 7 hours later along David Avenue in West Charlotte. Neighbors woke up to screams and saw a house engulfed in flames.
“I called 911 and I don’t think that I let them get anything out before I said we need a fire truck, the house is on fire and we think the neighbor is still in the house,” said neighbor, Tyleshia Cherry.
Charlotte firefighters arrived within three minutes, but they say the fire was already out of control. One person was trapped inside and unable to make it out alive.
Neighbors watched in disbelief as the flames spread in a matter of seconds.
“It took no time. We walked outside and it just went up in flames. The man had kicked the door in, I guess he was trying to see if someone was inside he thought he heard someone, but as soon as he kicked the door in flames just went up everywhere,” said neighbor, Ariel Morrison.
Investigators spent the day digging through the house to find a cause. By Friday afternoon investigators told FOX 46 Charlotte the cause was still undetermined.
In both cases fire investigators say it appears the homeowners were hoarding, but it’s unclear if that prevented them from escaping.