A large house fire Thursday in north Charlotte started accidentally when the homeowners put charcoal from a grill into a plastic garbage can outside the home, the Charlotte Fire Investigation Task Force ruled.
Flames spread up the back of the home to the attic and second floor, fire officials said.
Charlotte firefighters were sent to the fire at 3621 Trull St. shortly before 3 p.m. The Long Creek Volunteer Fire Department arrived first and reported heavy smoke and fire.
Four engines, a ladder truck, a rescue truck and three battalion chiefs soon arrived.
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Callers to 911 said children were thought to be in the home, so firefighters immediately searched the home. They cleared the first floor but couldn’t reach the second story because of heavy fire and a risk the home could collapse, according to a news release from the Charlotte Fire Department.
It turned out that no one was in the house when the fire started.
Firefighters reported controlling the blaze in 29 minutes, including protecting two nearby homes that had siding damage.
The home that caught was a total loss, and the American Red Cross assisted the family.
Charcoal can stay warm and be a fire hazard for a long time, fire officials said. Make sure coals are completely cooled before disposing of them in a metal container with a metal lid, away from anything flammable, officials said.