A fire that engulfed a real estate office in the heart of one of Charlotte’s most iconic neighborhoods Saturday was intentionally set, fire officials said.
“We are devastated by this,” Scott Wurtzbacher, residential real estate advisor with W Realty Group told The Charlotte Observer.
The Charlotte Fire Department released a photo on X, formerly Twitter, showing flames engulfing the house.
“CFD Investigators determined that the fire was intentionally set,” officials said on the site.
The fire caused about $115,000 in damage, according to the department.
The fire department hasn’t released how investigators think the fire was started.
Thirty firefighters controlled the blaze in 45 minutes, according to the department. No injuries were reported.
The office is near East 7th Street and Caswell Road.
Moments before the fire, security camera footage revealed a trespasser “unknown to us” on the property, Wurtzbacher said in a statement on Instagram and Facebook Saturday afternoon.
W Realty Group is working with police and fire investigators on their investigation, he said.
“The emergency response by CMPD and CFD has been amazing,” Wurtzbacher said in the statement. “We are still processing the shock. The damage is extensive, but we are thankful that our business is not dependent on a physical location.”
The house is known as the Gingerbread House, according to Wurtzbacher. No one was inside at the time, he said.
“Friends and clients, we are safe,” the statement said. “It’s been a rough past 18 hours ... We are incredibly grateful to our team for their support and readiness to continue serving client needs without interruption.”
“This team is resilient and will persist,” Wurtzbacher said in the statement.
Fire officials urged anyone with information about the fire to call the Charlotte Crime Stoppers anonymous tips line at 704-334-1600.