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Prayers for Our Brothers

Richard Sheltra (Souce: Pineville Volunteer Fire Department)


A 20-year-old firefighter was killed while battling a fire in the Pineville area Saturday night.

He has been identified as Richard Sheltra. He served as a volunteer firefighter for three years.

Pineville and Charlotte fire crews responded to the three-alarm fire on Pineville-Matthews Road at 9:03 p.m. to the Countryside Plaza.

“We saw him get pulled out. They tried the CPR, and we thought he had made it,” said Ctephanie Savoie, who was working in one of the buildings a few doors down at the time of the fire.

While responding to the fire, Sheltra was found in distress by other firefighters and was removed from the building. He was taken to Carolinas Medical Center where he was pronounced dead.

“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. Sheltra is survived by his mother, father and sister.

In the last year, Sheltra received awards for Rookie of the Year and Most Training Hours from the department.

A Charlotte firefighter was also hurt in the blaze. No civilians were injured in the fire.

The Charlotte Fire Department sent its Mobile Command Post to the scene of the fire to assist the Pineville Fire Department with their investigation.