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Charlotte airport fire under control

A fire that broke out on a moving sidewalk in a Charlotte Douglas International Airport concourse around 1 p.m. Saturday was brought under control in about 30 minutes, authorities said.

Medic reported six people were treated at the scene and released.

Charlotte fire Capt. Rob Brisley said the call came in at 12:56 p.m. and the Fire Department’s two stations nearest the airport arrived in about two minutes. He said at least 60 firefighters fought the fire between Concourse D and Concourse E.

Portable fans were used to clear out the smoke. Brisley said the airport was being monitored with gas meters and that “oxygen levels are not a concern.”

Meanwhile, Charlotte fire investigators were on the scene working to determine the cause of the fire, Brisley said.

Passengers were moved away from the area. After the fire was contained, the area was reopened, but Brisley said the moving sidewalk was closed.

Airport representative Lee Davis said the airport remained open and Transportation Security Administration officials assisted arriving and departing customers.

Casey Norton, a spokesman for American Airlines, said there was no departing traffic at the airport for an hour and that 31 flights were affected. By late afternoon, all the flights were on the way “and we’re getting the system back on schedule,” he said.

John Bender, a passenger waiting to fly home to Riverside, Calif., said he was in a concourse near a Starbucks when he saw smoke billowing and could not see beyond about 20 feet. Then it got worse and he fled toward Concourse E, joining a group of airport workers who were being evacuated.

“Everyone was calm,” Bender said.

But the after-effects could still be felt. About 1:45 p.m., Bender said, a young TSA agent came out of the airport coughing and smelling of smoke.

In July 2013, a small fire was reported on a moving elevator on Concourse E. There were no injuries, and the airport remained open.

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