CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) – A 16-year-old girl and the family dog were rescued in a house fire in northeast Charlotte Wednesday morning, fire officials say.
The fire broke out around 6:45 a.m. in the Newell Place neighborhood on Pickering Drive. Fire officials say a neighbor alerted them fire was showing and there may be someone inside.
Firefighters arrived to fire and smoke coming from the roof of the home. They quickly found 16-year-old Aniyah Pearson was hanging out of a second story window around the back of the house.
Pearson told WBTV she was going to jump from the window before she saw firefighters below her. She said she was crying and freaking out when she realized she was trapped in the room with her pitbull.
“I saw the smoke coming from the vent,” said Pearson. “It was like black smoke. It looked like the devil.”
Pearson said she couldn’t see anything in the room and the smoke started to get into her lungs.
“I think I would have died from the smoke,” said Pearson, who thinks she wouldn’t have made it out if she had to stay in the room any longer than she did. “That smoke filled the whole entire room.”
Luckily, Pearson and her dog were rescued by firefighters and weren’t injured.
The homeowner, and Person’s uncle, Shieneme Thompson, said he got calls about the fire from friends and co-workers who were watching the news.
“I was in shock initially,” said Thompson.
Thompson works for the City of Charlotte’s Solid Waste Services division. He left work with his brother to get back to the home to make sure his niece was OK.
“She’s a lot better, still traumatized a little bit but she’s going to be fine,” said Thompson. “Everything is so surreal right now.”
It took 26 firefighters a little more than 20 minutes to put out the fire at the home on Pickering Dr. The homeowner believes the fire started in his bedroom.