CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Two people are dead in two separate house fires in Charlotte.
The first happened on Birchcrest Drive around midnight. Charlotte Fire Department officials say it started in one bedroom and say it seems the smoke alarms did not operate properly.
The second happened on David Avenue in west Charlotte. Fire crews have not determined what could have started the fire, however, they also say it doesn't looks like the fire alarm worked in this case as well. This is still being determined.
Neighbors say they are shocked and say around 7 a.m. they noticed smoke coming from the home. One woman says she heard a loud bang and then saw flames.
In videos, say you can hear people saying they were trying to get inside the home to save the victim, but were having trouble figuring out how to get in. They tell us they’re still shaken up and are having a hard time accepting one of their neighbors is dead.
“It took no time. We went outside and it just went up in flames. The man had kicked the door in. I guess he was trying to see if there was somebody inside. He thought he heard somebody, but as soon as he kicked the door in, flames just went up everywhere,” neighbor Ariel Morrison said.
“Who wouldn’t be in shock seeing that? It’s not like it was TV, that was reality. I own a house; it could happen to anyone,” Heather Taylor, another neighbor said.
Additionally, crews say there are indications of hoarding in both houses involved which could have made it harder for victims to escape.
Fire crews are urging people to remember one thing as the temperatures drop: don’t use your oven or stove as a heat source.
Residents are also advised to make sure to check the batteries in smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors. Daylight saving time is always a good reminder to replace those batteries.
There have been eight fatal fires this year in Charlotte.