CHARLOTTE, N.C. (QUEEN CITY NEWS) — An overnight fire caused by a lightning strike displaced residents at an east Charlotte apartment complex, the Charlotte Fire Department said on Sunday.
Crews responded to calls regarding the blaze at some point before 3:30 a.m. at an apartment complex on Tremaine Court. Fire was visible upon arrival, CFD said. The fire was brought under control within 90 minutes and the two-alarm fire involved 60 firefighters.
Medic said one patient was transported to an area medical center to be treated for non-emergency reasons. CFD later said a firefighter sustained minor injuries and was treated and released.
Queen City News was on the scene and the Red Cross was seen assisting residents that had been displaced. It is estimated that the fire caused around $250,000 in damages.
“I know a lot of people because I’ve been here 22 years and the people, some of them that was over there, been there since 1985,” neighbor Deborah Blackwell said.
In released doorbell video flames can be seen starting toward the back of the building and quickly spreading.
Firefighters determined the cause of the fire to be a lightning strike, but some neighbors are skeptical.
“There was no lightning,” said one neighbor who asked to remain anonymous. “There was no rain at that time, so we just know it wasn’t lightning.”
Looking at the Queen City News Pinpoint Weather Radar, lightning did strike at the address of that apartment complex between 10:15 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. Saturday night. It is possible for fires to start hours or even days after a lightning strike.
Neighbors are just thankful that the outcome wasn’t worse.
“That’s the main thing,” Blackwell continued. “Materialistic stuff, we can’t take with us.”