CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Authorities say several cats and dogs belonging to an east Charlotte family have died in a two-alarm house fire.
The Charlotte Observer reports an investigator said the fire was sparked by an electrical short related to a space heater placed in the crawl space to thaw frozen pipes. Fire officials said the four residents were not home at the time of the fire.
Assistant Fire Marshal Mike Petleski said the fire "was electrical in nature, but it wouldn't have occurred had the heater not been down there."
Tuesday's fire was reported about 9 p.m. at a residence in the 7300 block of Maitland Lane in a neighborhood off Reedy Creek Road.
Neighbors saw the fire and called 911. More than 40 firefighters battled the blaze.