Neighbor alerts Charlotte condo residents to fire

Sandra Moretti was taking advantage of the warmest temperatures in a while to do some spring cleaning on Sunday.

As she walked into her apartment after hanging her sheets out to dry, she figured one of her neighbors was grilling in the 70-degree weather. But when the smell of smoke intensified, she grew concerned.

Worried, she looked around and saw smoke billowing out of a crack near a storage shed connected to a neighbor’s apartment at the Creswick Condominiums off Park Road near South Mecklenburg High.

“I started running, telling people to get out,” she said. “Fortunately, there weren’t that many people home.” The home where the fire started was vacant, too, firefighters said.

“When they opened the door, a whole bunch of smoke came out,” Moretti said.

Charlotte firefighters say the blaze started in a ground-floor apartment at the complex. The cause was still under investigation, but CFD Battalion Chief Jerry Winkles credited Moretti and other neighbors with calling 911 quickly and rushing to alert others.

No one was injured in the blaze. It was unclear Sunday how many families would be displaced. Many residents stood outside a barrier of yellow caution tape as firefighters checked out hot spots and tried to clear carbon monoxide from homes.

Fires at multifamily apartments such as the Creswick condominiums can spread quickly because of their wood frames and shared walls and roof, firefighters say.

Sunday’s fire was contained to a room. “We knocked it down as soon as we got here,” Winkles said.

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Twitter: @CleveWootson