Three firefighters injured while battling fire at Cornelius home

Credit: Huntersville Fire Department
Credit: Huntersville Fire Department

Three firefighters were injured while fighting a blaze at a house in Cornelius Monday morning. 

The fire broke out in the 21000 block of W Catawba Avenue around 10 a.m. 

Firefighters say flames were spreading through the attic and the walls. Heavy smoke could also be seen coming from the home. Crews say a neighbor saw the fire in the attic of the home. 

CORNELIUS, NC (WBTV) - "It's one of our old houses, it's been here quite a while," Mark Robbins, who works down the road, says.

Robbins says he and several other neighbors got two people out of the home safely before fire crews arrived.

"I saw someone running down the street, and she said call 911 there's a house on fire," he says.

Firefighters from Cornelius, Huntersville, and Davidson responded to the scene. 

"You're there for a reason and there's nothing you can do about it, so you just work around it," Captain EJ McCormick of Cornelius Fire Department says.

In this case, that proved a packed house, combined with heavy smoke, making navigation a challenge for crews inside.

"We slow everything down, move a little bit more methodically," McCormick says of navigating through cluttered spaces.

Crews say one firefighter was injured while he was disoriented from running out of air during the incident. Two more firefighters received minor injuries while battling the blaze. 

Robbins says the people who lived in the home were asleep and didn't know there was a fire. He had knocked on the door to help get the residents out. Firefighters say two people and multiple animals were in the home when the fire started. 

Fire crews now reminding all homeowners to keep clear walkways inside – in case of emergencies, like this one.

"You need to know which way you're going out and it should be clear of obstacles," McCormick says.

There's no word on what may have started the fire. 

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