A three-alarm fire roared through a Central Avenue apartment building early Wednesday, leaving an estimated two dozen residents looking for shelter.
One firefighter was injured in the blaze, which broke out about 3 a.m. at the Birchcroft Apartments, in the 3100 block of Central Avenue. That is about a quarter-mile west of Briar Creek Road.
Firefighters found flames coming through the roof of the three-story apartment building when they arrived. A number of residents scrambled to safety, as the first-responding firefighters called a second and then a third alarm.
“The fire department was able to save over half the building,” Charlotte fire Capt. Rob Brisley said.
Brisley said it took the contingent of 57 firefighters a bit less than 30 minutes to subdue the blaze.
“One firefighter suffered an arm injury, while checking for hot spots,” Brisley said, adding that the injured firefighter was taken to a hospital for treatment.
Brisley said 13 apartment units were affected by the fire. Investigators say the cause was accidental, blaming it on a candle left burning in an upper-level apartment unit. The damage is estimated at $250,000. The American Red Cross is providing support for the residents displaced by the blaze.
Central Avenue was closed for several hours, but authorities were able to reopen the road before the morning commute.