First responders discuss response to massive SouthPark fire

The fire happened on May 18 and claimed the lives of two workers at the apartment building.
The May 18 fire at a construction site killed two workers.
Published: May. 24, 2023 at 2:20 PM EDT|Updated: May. 25, 2023 at 10:02 AM EDT
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - Firefighters from Station 10 in Charlotte are one of the teams that helped fight the massive fire at an apartment complex in Charlotte on May 18, and will share its experience at a press conference on Thursday, one week after the flames were extinguished.

“Charlotte Fire will have firefighters from Firehouse 10, whose crew helped rescue the crane operator who was trapped 210′ high. There will also be critical crew members who responded from Firehouse 16, battalion chiefs, and a deputy chief. We hope that giving access to all these members will help you tell the story of their heroic actions,” according to the Charlotte Fire Department.

Two workers died in the fire but more than a dozen were rescued by firefighters, including a crane operator.

“At temperatures raging over 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit, firefighters were actively rescuing 15 people trapped in the building. Two hundred ten feet above the ground, a crane operator was trapped. With multiple crews working to get the operator to safety, a Charlotte firefighter scaled the crane’s ladder to bring the patient safely to the ground,” according to CFD.

The efforts of firefighters were massive and took dozens of vehicles and personnel to bring it under control.

“During the active emergency incident, 73 apparatus and support vehicles were on the scene. Another 35 apparatus and support vehicles were assigned to ensure the scene stayed safe and secure. More than 175 Charlotte Fire firefighters and support personnel aided in bringing this fire under control,” according to CFD.

A press conference is scheduled for 10 a.m. Thursday, which WBTV will stream live online and on Facebook.

City leaders will also gather with community members Thursday evening at Symphony Park around 6:30 p.m. to take part in a moment of silence, offer remarks, and express appreciation to first responders and the community.

This is taking place during SouthPark After 5, which kicks off at 5:00 p.m.

Members of the public will also be invited to sign a “Thank You” banner ahead of the ceremony, which will be presented to first responders.

“We’re gonna bring on stage all of those firefighters that were on that initial call, so they can feel the love of thousands of folks in our community as we recognize their heroics,” Charlotte City Councilman Tariq Bokhari told WBTV.

Bokhari says they want to send a message that this city has their backs.

“Especially those who were those first responders on the scene, that are going to have the mental health issues going forward that traumatic experiences like this have,” he said. “Right away to let them know that how much we love them and care about them and in the longer term that we’re there for them, whatever they’re going through.”

Related: Charlotte Fire identifies two killed in massive SouthPark construction fire

Two workers died in the fire but more than a dozen were rescued by firefighters, including a crane operator.