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'We lose that flesh, but that spirit is always going to be there' | South Park fire fallen worker laid to rest

Demonte Sherill's loved ones gathered at a Kannapolis church to say one last good-bye.

KANNAPOLIS, N.C. — The Charlotte community mourns the fallen worker who died in the massive South Park fire last month. An apartment complex was under construction went the fire erupted.

Two men, identified as Demonte Sherrill and Ruben Holmes, were trapped inside and died.

On the afternoon of June 3, 2023, loved ones came together to say goodbye to Demonte.

“Demonte was just an all-around good kid,” said Timothy Davis, his uncle. “This is so tragic that he had this demise like that. He was doing the best he could, and it just wasn’t fair for my nephew to go out like that.”

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His memorial service was held at Covenant Presbyterian Church in Kannapolis. The 30-year-old was a father to four children. His loved ones described him as a hard worker who loved his family.

Many loved ones at the service wore red shirts with a picture of Demonte on one side. The words "forever in our hearts" adorned the back.

“It was always a good time with Demonte even when he was a child,” Temeckia Carson said, smiling while she spoke about her cousin.

Carson said he could light up any room and this is a tough loss for anyone who knew him.

“If somebody was sad and Demonte walked into the room,” she said, "you would be laughing by the time Demonte walks out of the room.”

Charlotte Fire Department leaders described the May 18, 2023 blaze as a fast-moving fire with high heat conditions of well over 2,000 degrees, sending dark smoke into the air.

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Meanwhile, the North Carolina Department of Labor as started a lengthy investigation into the fire. Compliance officers were quickly sent to the site to begin the inspection and to make sure crews followed all state and federal rules. Final reports could take about six months.

While loved ones wait for answers, they remember Demonte and say his spirit lives on.

“We are all going to miss him,” said Carson. “We lose that flesh, but that spirit is always going to be there. He is going to be there watching over his kids, he will be there watching over his family, and he is going to make sure everybody is good.”

Contact Jesse Pierre at jpierrepet@wcnc.com or follow her on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

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