Carolina Panthers coach's home damaged in fire; no one hurt

Reuters News
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Posted: Jan 05, 2015 9:57 AM

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (Reuters) - Carolina Panthers coach Ron Rivera and his family escaped unharmed from a "significant fire" that damaged their large, two-story home in North Carolina early on Monday, a fire official said.

It was not immediately clear what caused the blaze, which began just before 4 a.m. EST (0900 GMT) and took 56 firefighters about an hour to control, said Charlotte Fire Department Captain Rob Brisley.

"Early indications are this is an accidental fire," Brisley said at a news conference, adding most of the damage was to the roof and attic.

The family was able to get out of the house on their own with their pets, Brisley said.

"Ron and his family are safe," the Panthers said on Twitter.

The Panthers on Saturday clinched their first post-season victory since the 2005 season, beating the Arizona Cardinals in an National Football Conference wildcard playoff game.

The win was due in part to a strong performance from quarterback Cam Newton, who in December suffered minor back fractures in a car accident.

(This story corrects spelling of quarterback's name to Newton, paragraph 7)

(Reporting by Colleen Jenkins; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn)