One killed in condo fire at Carolina Beach - | WBTV Charlotte

One killed in condo fire at Carolina Beach

Fire crews worked to put out flames in Carolina Beach. (Source: Rodney Elliott) Fire crews worked to put out flames in Carolina Beach. (Source: Rodney Elliott)

One person was killed in a fire that broke out at Inland Harbor on Carolina Beach Monday morning. 

Authorities have not released the age or gender of the person who was killed.

The fire was first called in around 8:50 a.m., according to New Hanover County Dispatch.

"Unfortunately, the victim wasn't able to get out on their own and by the time we got there, the fire was well advanced," Carolina Beach Fire Chief Alan Griffin said.

Neighbors said the victim was an elderly woman in her 70s who lived on the top floor with her dog. The victim's next door neighbor said she's having a tough time dealing with the loss because of their connection.

"Every Thursday she had a date with my granddaughter to watch the fireworks," Sheila Embler said. "It's hard."

Embler added she had just left the condo to drop her granddaughter off at her home. Minutes later, her condo was engulfed in flames. "Just thank God that he held it off long enough for us to leave," an emotional Embler said. "We are safe and it could be worse, you just have to be thankful for the small miracles and move on."

Flames were showing from the top floor of the structure when firefighters arrived. Griffin said crews struggled to contain the fire at first because the flames were caught in void spaces.

"It started in the one unit and spread to two adjacent units on each side," Griffin said. "Because of two false ceilings, we had a little trouble getting in so we had to go four alarms for manpower to keep the fire from spreading to the structure."

Griffin said three apartments, including Embler's, are a total loss and eight separate apartments suffered smoke or water damage.

According to Griffin, the Carolina Beach Police Department, fire marshal, and State Bureau of Investigation are investigating the fire. Griffin said he doesn't suspect any foul play.

There are 18 units in the condo and no one will be able to return home Monday due to the damage.

The American Red Cross said Monday afternoon it helped 11 families -- 19 people overall -- who were displaced by the fire. That aid included temporary lodging and money for food and clothing.

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