Updated 3:42 p.m.
A fire that started with candles left burning destroyed a home on Brinkley Street in old Cornelius early Sunday. The house at 21117 Brinkley Street, a couple of blocks north of the library on Catawba Avenue, was completely in flames when firefighters arrived just after 6 a.m.
One person renting the house was home at the time, and got out safely, fire officials said Sunday afternoon.
Thirty-two firefighters with fire companies from Cornelius, Davidson and Huntersville helped fight the fire on a frigid morning when the temperature was around 20 degrees. Firefighters battled the cold as well as the flames – one showed off a coat and helmet covered in ice.
The call came in at 6:09 a.m., and firefighters were able to knock down the major portion of the fire by around 6:30 a.m. But they were still on the scene an hour later seeking the source of smoke still coming from the attic area. The blaze left the house a charred frame.
An investigation at the scene found that the fire started with candles left unattended in the house overnight, Cornelius Fire Capt. Mark Ballew said Sunday afternoon. He said there was nothing suspicious and no further investigation is planned.
- David Boraks and Christina Ritchie Rogers