A 20-year-old man was arrested Thursday morning for his involvement in the fire at an east Charlotte apartment complex that displaced 130 residents on Monday, authorities said.
Charlotte-Mecklenburg police said Jesus Reyes Lopez faces charges of first-degree attempted murder and first-degree arson for the fire at the Woodscape apartments at 5612 Farm Pond Lane.
Crews responded to the fire at 12:56 a.m. Monday, and an investigation led the Charlotte Fire Department to believe the fire, which police said caused $1.3 million in damage, was set intentionally.
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The investigation is ongoing and police didn’t say if there are additional suspects. There also was no indication yet of any motive.
Lopez also faces a charge of damage to property by using an incendiary device, although police didn’t release details on the device Lopez is accused of using.
Lopez has no prior arrests in North Carolina, according to court records.
Seven people were hospitalized after trying to escape the fire. Some families even jumped out of windows from second and third floor units to avoid the flames.
The Red Cross opened a temporary shelter at Albemarle Road Middle School for the victims and is working to meet their critical needs, including food, clothing and finding new homes. As of Thursday morning, agency officials said none of the 41 displaced households (both families and single adults) had found new places to live.
Red Cross Executive Director Angela Broome said some of the 130 victims of the fire are spending the night with friends, but returning to the shelter during the day for their meals and meetings with social workers. As of Thursday morning, just over 50 were using the shelter as a place to sleep, she said.
Staff writer Mark Price contributed.
LaVendrick Smith; 704-358-5101; @LaVendrickS
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The Red Cross is able to provide services such as shelter and casework assistance free thanks to the generosity of our donors. Anyone wishing to assist the Red Cross in providing assistance to people impacted by disasters such as this, please donate atredcross.org/nc or by calling 800-RED-CROSS or texting the word REDCROSS to 90999to make a $10 donation.