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Two construction workers missing after five-alarm fire in North Carolina


Two construction workers are missing after a massive five-alarm fire broke out in Charlotte, North Carolina on Thursday, according to officials.

“With the extensive structural damage, the search process could be lengthy,” the Charlotte Fire Department said in a statement on their official Twitter account. “We cannot confirm a loss of life.”

The Charlotte Fire Department received a call about a fire at an apartment building under construction on the 7700 block of Liberty Row Drive around 10 p.m.

Firefighters arrived within minutes to find heavy smoke coming from the construction site. At 9:10 a.m., the fire became a two-alarm fire and progressed to a five-alarm fire at 9:56 a.m., Fire Chief Reginald Johnson said at a news conference Thursday afternoon.

The fire spread very quickly due to a lot of exposed wood on the construction site, and the heat conditions were well over 2,000 degrees, according to Johnson.

Fifteen workers were rescued, including a crane operator who was taken to a local hospital with non-life-threatening injuries, Johnson said.

There were many “mayday” situations where firefighters were trapped or had trouble escaping the fire themselves, Johnson added.

According to the construction manager, two construction workers are currently unaccounted for.

The fire also spread to construction across the street and a number of nearby rooftops, all of which were extinguished by firefighters, Johnson said.

The fire department shared a video of the scene around 2:52 p.m. Thursday showing the fire had been contained and the structural damage it left behind.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

Developer Mill Creek Residential confirmed the location of the fire was an apartment community under construction and no residents were living there at the time.

In a statement shared with NBC News on Thursday, the development company expressed concern for the two missing workers.

“We are deeply concerned for their well-being and will continue to follow the directions of first responders on the scene to resolve the situation. Our thoughts go out to the missing and injured individuals and their loved ones at this time,” said Alex Eyssen, Mill Creek’s Senior Managing Director for the Carolinas. “We are extremely grateful for the quick and thorough response of Charlotte first responders. -Mecklenburg Police Department and Charlotte Fire Department who put their lives on the line for others and to contain the fire as quickly as possible.”

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