Panthers head coach, family safe after house fire

Carolina Panthers coach Ron Rivera and his family are safe after firefighters battled a two-alarm fire at his home early Monday morning.

Panthers spokesman Charlie Dayton confirmed that everyone in the house got out safely.

“Everybody is OK and that’s the most important thing,” Dayton said.

Rivera told Charlotte’s WSOC-TV that he heard smoke detectors going off inside the home and that the six people that were in the house all got out safely. Rivera said his wife, his two brothers and their wives were inside the home.

According to the Charlotte Fire Department, 55 firefighters responded to the call around 4 a.m. and found heavy smoke and flames coming from the house. A hole was cut in the roof of the three-story brick house to get the fire under control and the family’s pets were also rescued.

Firefighters were able to get the fire under control in 62 minutes. Investigators are determining how the fire started. Most of the damage to the house was to the roof and attic. The home also sustained smoke and water damage.

“It’s a busy week ahead for the city of Charlotte, including this family, who is devastated by the fire,” Charlotte Fire Capt. Rob Brisley told reporters. “Early indications are this is an accidental fire.”

Rivera, who is working on temporary living arrangements, will address the media later Monday.

Rivera is in his fourth season as the Panthers head coach. Carolina is coming off a 27-16 victory over the Arizona Cardinals on Saturday in the NFC wild-card game.

The Panthers take on the defending Super Bowl champion Seattle Seahawks in the NFC Divisional game on Saturday night.

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