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Spontaneous combustion blamed for mysterious and expensive Charlotte fire

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Firefighters blame an expensive fire in north Charlotte early Saturday on spontaneous combustion, where materials self-ignite without a known cause.

The Charlotte Fire Department received an alarm just after midnight about a fire in a two-story commercial building with a large warehouse in the 1900 block of Equitable Place, according to a Charlotte Fire Department tweet.

That’s in a commercial-industrial area off Orr Road, Grier Road and Old Concord Road.

Mecklenburg County property tax records show the building is owned by Massachusetts-based UniFirst Corp. The company “delivers hygienically clean uniforms, workwear, and facility service products to businesses throughout North Carolina, “ according to its website, UniFirst.com.

A message on the company’s phone line Saturday said company officials are available only during normal business hours.

Firefighters “found heavy smoke conditions” when they entered the building, fire officials said in one of three tweets about the fire.

Twenty-three firefighters controlled the fire and were removing smoke from the building by 2 a.m., according to a followup tweet from the department. No one was injured, fire officials said.



The fire caused an estimated $100,000 in damage, officials said.

“CFD Investigators determined that the fire was accidental due to spontaneous combustion of materials inside,” fire officials said in a final tweet later Saturday morning.

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