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Firefighter Richard Sheltra killed during NC strip mall fire — listen to radio traffic

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A firefighter died while battling a three-alarm fire Saturday night in a Pineville shopping center.

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

Pineville fire crews responded just after 9 p.m. to a fire at Edwin Watts in the Countryside Shopping Center off Pineville-Matthews Road. Charlotte fire and Mecklenburg County fire crews assisted.

Sheltra served as a volunteer firefighter for three years with the Pineville Volunteer Fire Department.

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Karen Sullivan, The Charlotte Observer:

As they worked to contain the fire, firefighters found Sheltra in distress and immediately removed him from the building, according to a report from the Pineville VFD.

A Mecklenburg EMS ambulance was already on scene and transported Sheltra to Carolinas Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead, the report said.

The nature of Sheltra’s injuries has not been fully determined, said Bill Suthard, a spokesman for the Huntersville Fire Department who spent part of the day helping out in Pineville.

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