Father Of Four Died In North Carolina Fire, Begged For Help On Facebook Live, Family Says

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Julianna Frieman Contributor
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A father of four begged for help on Facebook Live before he died in a fire, local outlet WSOC-TV reports, citing the deceased’s family.

The Charlotte, North Carolina, construction site blaze killed 30-year-old Demonte Sherrill on Thursday as he begged to be saved from the burning building on a Facebook livestream his mother said she had been watching, according to the outlet. The five-alarm fire reportedly engulfed an apartment building near the SouthPark Mall.

“I’m at work in a building on fire, and I can’t get out,” a man who appeared to be Sherrill said on the livestream, according to The Charlotte Observer.

“I’m still in shock. Numb, really. Numb about the whole situation,” Sherrill’s mother, Onita, told WSOC. “I was hoping but just from the (Facebook Live), and the way the room filled up with smoke, I didn’t see it being any hope at that time.”

Sherrill was reportedly one of two construction workers who were initially missing after the incident. He leaves behind four children ranging in age from five years old to 13, according to WSOC.

“He was a good man, a loving father. [A] caring person and he just wanted to be with his children, his family,” Onita said. (RELATED: Video Shows Building Wall Collapse As Massive Five-Alarm Fire Rages, Leaving Two Missing)

Sherrill’s father, Terry Campbell, said he immediately went to the scene when he learned about the fire. He called Sherrill’s boss, who confirmed to Campbell his son had died, WSOC reported.

Rueben Holmes was later identified as the second deceased construction worker previously unaccounted for. He called his boss, Keith Suggs, for the last time at 9 a.m. Thursday while he was on-site, according to The Charlotte Observer.

“He told me he was on the sixth floor, the building was on fire, and he couldn’t get out,” Suggs told the outlet.

The Charlotte Fire Department attempted to rescue both men. They reportedly had to issue a “mayday” alert when they became trapped on the same floor as the construction workers due to poor visibility.

The firefighters successfully saved 15 people from the site, according to WSOC. A crane operator who was stuck 160 feet in the air for over an hour is among those rescued by the first responders, the Observer reported.

Over 90 firefighters from five different departments responded to the SouthPark Towers scene, according to the outlet. Stacks of wood at the site fueled the fire, and temperatures reportedly exceeded 2,000 degrees.

An investigation is underway to determine the cause of the fire.