Charlotte leaders confirm two deaths in SouthPark fire, identify cause

The Charlotte fire chief confirmed that two people died in Thursday's massive SouthPark construction site fire.
Published: May. 19, 2023 at 3:07 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - Leaders from the City of Charlotte provided media with an update regarding Thursday’s massive SouthPark fire on Friday afternoon.

Officials including Charlotte Fire Chief Reginald Johnson, CMPD Chief Johnny Jennings, Mayor Vi Lyles and city councilman Tariq Bokhari spoke during the briefing.

Johnson said that two bodies were found inside the structure, and have been transferred to the Mecklenburg County Medical Examiner’s Office.

The fire chief also maintained that the fire was accidental, and said it appears to have been sparked by a spray insulation foam trailer fire.

He said fire crews have remained on scene since Thursday morning, but companies could potentially return to their stations Friday evening.

Jennings said police assisted Charlotte Fire with traffic control, as well as with the evacuation process. CMPD’s flight team also provided firefighters with a bird’s eye view, helping them determine which areas to attack.

Mayor Lyles confirmed the death of Demonte Sherrill, which other sources had also previously confirmed. She said Sherrill was a father and family man.

On Thursday, fire officials confirmed that 15 workers were rescued from the blaze.

Johnson said the most recent five-alarm fire in Charlotte prior to Thursday’s was less than a year ago at a storage center on South Tryon Street.

A GoFundMe was set up for Sherrill’s family and can be accessed here.

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Crews working to extinguish Charlotte construction fire hotspots
Crews working to extinguish Charlotte construction fire hotspots(WBTV)