Firefighters: Discarded 'smoking materials' started Ballantyne fire

Firefighters: Discarded 'smoking materials' started Ballantyne fire

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by NewsChannel 36 Staff

WCNC.com

Posted on April 20, 2012 at 7:01 PM

Updated Sunday, Apr 22 at 7:42 AM

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Smoking materials left on a wooden deck behind a townhome, started a fire in Ballantyne Friday night that destroyed two units and damaged four more. 

"I’m very angry,” said Denise Lasalle, whose daughter, sister, and grandchildren lost their home. 

“If you’re going to smoke, put your cigarettes out, don't leave them around. My family's out of a home because someone decided to leave a lit cigarette lying around," she said.

Lasalle said she learned a cigarette thrown onto the neighbor's grill started the fire.

The three-alarm fire erupted in the 12000 block of Duke Lancaster Drive around 6:30 p.m., near the intersection of Johnston Road and Marvin Road.

(Click here for a photo slideshow)

Jonathon Traverso, 14, is Lasalle's grandson, and said he saw the flames coming from the house next door.  He rushed to get his sister out and saved one of his two cats.

"There was this huge wave of heat and smoke. A huge burst and heat just blasted my face, " said Traverso. "I just called the cops and got my sister out. I tried to go back to get my cats but this guy yelled at me to stay outside."

There are no reported injuries.

Firefighters estimated damages to be more around $1.5 million.

 


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