Two construction workers missing after massive North Carolina apartment building fire

Crews battle a four-alarm fire that broke out in a construction zone on May 18, 2023 in a Charlotte suburb, the Charlotte Fire Department said.

Two construction workers are missing following a five-alarm fire at an under-construction apartment building in Charlotte, North Carolina.

The Charlotte Fire Department confirmed two were missing and unaccounted for following the Thursday morning fire in the South Park neighborhood, and the family of one man said he broadcast calls for help via Facebook, WSOC-TV reported. The unfinished multistory building was largely destroyed by the intense fire, fed by piles of lumber surrounding the construction site, officials told reporters.

"With the extensive structural damage, the search process can be lengthy.  We cannot confirm a loss of life," Charlotte Fire tweeted. "This fire has been difficult for our community, and our firefighters continue to diligently work on scene to find answers."

Firefighters reported rescuing 15 people from the blaze, including a construction crane operator. The identity of the two missing workers had not been released as of noon Friday.

WSOC reported that Demonte Sherrill’s mother said she watched her son die via Facebook Live: "I'm still in shock," said his mother, Onita Sherrill. "Numb really. Numb about the whole situation."

Onita Sherrill told WSOC her son was a father of four.

The Charlotte Observer reported that workers told firefighters the blaze started in a construction trailer at the base of the building.

"Sending my support to all those impacted by the fire today," Charlotte Mayor Vi Lyles tweeted.

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