Charlotte Fire Department officials leaving the stage after being recognized at the South Park After Five concert. (Daija Peeler/QCity Metro)

Mayor Vi Lyles and District 6 representative Tariq Bokhari spoke at the SouthPark After Five concert about last week’s SouthPark fire.

Lyles spoke about two victims — Demonte Sherrill and Ruben Holmes — who died in the fire, asking attendees to take a moment of silence in remembrance of them. 

Bokhari spoke after Lyles and introduced the first responders, firefighters and medics who were on the scene that day. 

In total, Bokhari said, 175 Charlotte officials put out a five-alarm fire. 

15 people were able to be rescued. 

Deputy Chief of Operations Samuel Jones was one of the first people to respond to the initial call. 

He described it as the largest fire in his 34-year career. He noted that he and his team hadn’t dealt with anything like it. 

“This is one of those fires that you see once in a lifetime,” Jones said. “And there were so many other things that were going on, from the [situation] of the crane operator, the two lost people in the building, and firefighters who were also in trouble, it was truly a challenge.” 

Battalion Chief Timothy Brown also commended the fire department team, noting how their line of work is nonstop. 

“As soon as they got out of danger, they went right back to work,” Brown said. “That’s the caliber of people that work for our department.”

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Daija Peeler covers arts, culture, and faith in Charlotte.

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