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'We’ve done everything that we know how to do' | Charlotte family said they complained of electrical issues before fire destroyed their home

Charlotte Fire Department said the fire was due to a faulty electrical outlet. Che Farmer said she’s had electrical issues she has tried to tell her landlord about.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — A Charlotte family is out of a home after a fire destroyed their apartment Monday. 

"My family, we almost lost our lives last night,” Che Farmer said.

Farmer said the fire started in her and her husband’s room as he was sleeping. Farmer said they were alerted to the fire after her daughter heard family members shouting upstairs. 

"He was asleep and our children were asleep," she said. "Had I been asleep as well, we would not have made it down the steps. Heard screaming, heard cries of terror. We ran up the stairs and when the door opened, it was if Hades itself or hell itself had opened up."

Six people were inside the home at the time according to Farmer's husband -- including children as young as 1 year old.

“There was no way to save anything but our very lives,” Farmer said.

Farmer said they were forced to leave their pet behind.

"Our parrot died in the fire, we couldn’t save him," Farmer said in tears. 

Charlotte Fire Department said the fire was due to a faulty electrical outlet. Farmer said she’s had electrical issues she has tried to tell her landlord, Willie Knox, about.

"We’re used to resetting our breaker box because that’s what Mr. Knox has always made us do,” Farmer said.

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Farmer said they reset it and called their landlord again hours before the fire started after their lights went out.

"Our lights went completely out, he refused to answer the phone when we called,” Farmer claimed.

Farmer claimed the landlord has dismissed other calls for repairs around the apartment and feels they shouldn’t have to live in the conditions that they believe ultimately led to the fire.

"Who helps us, who do we cry out to," Farmer said. "We’ve done everything that we know how to do.”

We’ve reached out to the landlord about these claims. He told WCNC Charlotte he would get back to us, as this may become a legal matter.

Contact Lana Harris at lharris@wcnc.com and follow her on Facebook, Twitter and on Instagram.

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