Pineville firefighter killed in line of duty identified

Richard Sheltra (right) (image courtesy WSOC)

North Carolina authorities say a firefighter has been killed and another firefighter injured while battling a commercial blaze just south of Charlotte.

WSOC-TV reports the three-alarm fire broke out about 9 p.m. Saturday at the Countryside Shopping Center just within the town limits of Pineville.

Officials identified the fallen firefighter as 20-year-old Richard Sheltra.

Charlotte Fire Chief Jon Hannan tells WSOC Sheltra and another firefighter were removed from the blaze and transported to a hospital. The other firefighter sustained non-life-threatening injuries.

"This is a very sad day for our department, in particular the Pineville community, as we mourn the passing of a friend, a brother and very dedicated volunteer," Pineville Volunteer Fire Department Chief Michael Gerin said.

A memorial service with full fire department honors is currently being planned.

No cause of the fire has been determined.

The Mecklenburg County Fire Marshal plans to investigate.

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