Investigators determine house fire was accidental

CHARLOTTE – The Charlotte Fire Investigation Task Force determined a large house fire that happened March 19 in north Charlotte was accidental.
Investigators say the fi re started outside, in a plastic garbage can where the homeowners disposed of charcoal from a grill.
The fl ames spread up the back of the home to the attic and second floor.
The Charlotte Fire Department was dispatched to the fire at 3621 Trull Street at 2:52 p.m.
The Long Creek Volunteer Fire Department arrived first and reported heavy smoke and fire.
Four engines, a ladder truck, a rescue truck and three battalion chiefs arrived within moments.
Emergency callers said there could be children inside the home, so the firefighters immediately started searching the building.
They cleared the first floor but couldn’t reach the second story because of heavy fire and a risk the home could collapse. A battalion chief called for an evacuation, accounted for all firefighters and continued battling the flames.
In just 29 minutes, a total of 28 Charlotte firefighters, plus the Long Creek crew, controlled the fi re. That included protecting two nearby homes that had siding damage, but no fi re inside. No one was home when the fi re broke out; no one was hurt, but the home is a total loss.
The Red Cross assisted the family.
The arrival of spring means more people will be thinking about grilling outside. It’s critically important to follow all instructions when using gas or charcoal grills.
Charcoal can stay warm and can be a fire hazard for a long time, so make sure coals are completely cooled before disposing them in a metal container with a metal lid, away from anything flammable.
From 2007 to 2011, fire departments across the U.S. responded to nearly 9,000 house fi res a year caused by grills.
More than a quarter of those fires started on a courtyard, terrace or patio, and nearly 30 percent started on an exterior balcony or open porch.

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