CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Ongoing fire concerns have a local homeowner's association warning residents that their fire insurance could be dropped, or they might have to pass the exorbitant cost of retaining that insurance onto property owners should fire issues persist.
The concerns are spelled out in a newsletter to Quail Run Condominium owners and residents. The neighborhood is off Lakehouse Lane and Sharon Lakes Road.
Neighbors captured a garbage and debris fire on home video earlier this year at the back of the neighborhood. A tree in the same spot also burned.
The area where two fires have been is near a garbage dumpster where people dump items like mattresses and furniture. Neighbors say people pick through the garbage looking for scrap metal and then set it on fire.
"I'm the one that called to report it," said resident Allison Sledge. She does not think the two fires are a big deal.
"There's not arsonists running around here, there was a little fire over there," she said.
The two fires were enough to prompt the Quail Run HOA to issue a letter to hundreds of condo owners and other people who live in Quail Run.
"There seem to be some people who don't care about our homes and our safety, because fires are being set on parts of Quail Run property. The extreme danger of this goes so very far beyond just a few of us being harmed. Because of our history of fires here, our insurance company is constantly watching to make sure there are no more fires because, if there are more fires, we could very well lose our insurance coverage, or at least the cost would surmount anything we can afford without raising out HOA dues by an extreme amount to cover the costs," the newsletter says.
It is a safety concern to condo owner Ruth Graves.
"Simply because a lot of people that live around here, they have young kids that come out and play," she said.
Sledge says her HOA dues are already around $200 a month.
"It will be fought tooth-and-nail by every homeowner in this complex," she said.
Sledge, Graves and other neighbors say they will fight any increase in HOA dues because repair problems are put on hold, sometimes for years. They also say the HOA tells them they don't have any money. So, if the HOA asks for more money due to the fire concerns the answer will be no.
"We're going to fight it, we're going to fight it," Graves said.
We asked the Quail Run Condos HOA several questions about the fires and the possibility of raising HOA dues, but never got a response.
There have been at least three other fires at Quail Run dating back to 2003, some of which forced neighbors out of their homes and caused at least $750,000 in damage.
Overall, the Charlotte Fire Department says there have been 21 fires over the last year, in and around the Quail Run Condos, including other nearby neighborhoods.
The two garbage fires are considered arson.