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Two found dead after 5-alarm blaze in North Carolina

Two construction workers had been reported missing after the fire in Charlotte Thursday. The medical examiner will identify the remains found Friday.
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Two people were found dead in Charlotte, North Carolina, Friday in the aftermath of a five-alarm fire, officials said.

Two construction workers had been missing after the massive fire broke out Thursday at an apartment building.

The identification of the two people found at the scene had not been publicly released, and notification of next of kin, will be done by the medical examiner.

The blaze at the site, which is under construction, was accidental, Charlotte Fire Chief Reginald T. Johnson said.

“I’ve been with the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department for 31 years — I’ve never, ever seen a fire of this magnitude,” Police Chief Johnny Jennings said.

The Charlotte Fire Department received calls about the fire on the 7700 block Liberty Row Drive around 9 a.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, and progressed to five-alarm by 9:56 a.m., Johnson has said.

The fire began in a spray insulation foam trailer at the ground floor of the site, he said.

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

There were many "mayday" situations where firefighter crews were trapped or had issues escaping the blaze, Johnson added.

The fire spread to construction across the street and a number of nearby rooftops, which were all put out by the fire department, Johnson said.

Charlotte Mayor Vi Lyles said that the fire was difficult and devastating.

“Two families are missing loved ones today,” she said, adding that the city joins them in grieving.

Johnson, the fire chief, said that a cause of is still being determined.

“Obviously, the building is still in a state where it’s not safe for all our members to go in there,” he said, but where the fire began was narrowed down to the area of the spray insulation trailer.