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Two construction workers killed in massive fire at Charlotte site


(CHARLOTTE, N.C.) — Two construction workers were killed in a massive fire at a Charlotte construction site Thursday, which fire officials said was accidental.

Reginald Johnson, the fire chief for the Charlotte Fire Department, told reporters Friday that the bodies of the two construction workers who were unaccounted for in the five-alarm blaze on Liberty Row Drive were discovered in the wreckage earlier in the morning.

Their identities weren’t publicly released.

The family of one of the victims, Demonte Sherrill, 30, told ABC affiliate WSOC that he was one of the deceased men.

Demonte Sherrill’s parents said he was a good man who worked hard to provide for his four children.

“He got that job, and he was doing real good at it, so I was very, very proud of him,” Sherrill’s father, Terry Campbell, told WSOC.

Over 90 firefighters responded to the residential construction site on Liberty Road around 9 a.m. and within 10 minutes, the blaze grew to five alarms, told reporters Thursday.

“It was a very fast-moving fire [with] high heat conditions well over 2000 degrees. And as a construction site is open, a lot of wood is exposed the fire moved very rapidly,” Johnson said.

Firefighters rescued 15 construction workers from the fire, including one person who was stuck on top of a crane. Johnson said that firefighters had to set up hose lines to protect the crane before they could go and make the rescue.

Johnson also confirmed that two “maydays” were issued after firefighters had issues getting out of the fire while rescuing some of the construction workers.

Johnson told reporters Friday that the fire department’s investigation determined the blaze began accidentally and started in a spray insulation foam trailer on the ground floor.

“We seldom have large fires of this magnitude,” he said.

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