Carolina Panther head coach Ron Rivera and his family are reportedly 'OK' after escaping a blaze at their home early on Monday morning.
Fire at home
55 firefighters were called to the home of Rivera who had alerted the authorities after having heard fire detectors going off at around 4am this morning.
Rivera's wife Stephanie, his two brothers and their wives were also in the house alongside the NFL head coach at the time of the fire. Thankfully Carolina Panthers spokesman Charlie Dayton has confirmed that all were able to evacuate the building safely.
"Everybody is OK, and that's the most important thing" - Charlie Dayton on the house fire at Ron Rivera's home.
Upon arriving at the scene firefighters were met with flames and smoke coming from the three-story house. In order to get control of the blaze a decision was made to remove part of the roof which, alongside the attic, is believed to have sustained most damage. The Fire Department were able to get the fire under control after approximately one hour.
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Officials speaking in the immediate aftermath of the fire were quick to suggest that all signs point to it being an accident rather than a criminal act although a cause is yet to be determined. Charlotte Fire Captain Rob Brisley made that point clear to reporters on Monday.
"It's a busy week ahead for the city of Charlotte, including this family, who is devastated by the fire," he said. "Early indications are this is an accidental fire."
The blaze comes just two days after the Carolina Panthers extended their 2014 playoff journey with victory over the Arizona Cardinals.
As such Rivera would have been hoping to focus his full attention on the challenge of reigning Super Bowl champs the Seattle Seahawks whom the Panthers take on next weekend.
Family of course takes precedent however and with the home uninhabitable for the time being, Rivera must juggle game preparation with finding alternative accommodation.