Faulty fireplace causes fire at home of Panthers coach

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) The Charlotte Fire Department says the improper installation of a modular fireplace or a material defect caused a fire that resulted in $500,000 in damage to the home of Carolina Panthers coach Ron Rivera on Jan. 5.

The department released its final report Thursday in a press release, saying it has ruled out foul play or criminal activity. Their investigation is now closed.

No one was hurt in the blaze.

Rivera and his wife Stephanie are expected to be displaced for six to eight months while the house is rebuilt.

Investigators found a missing base plate and a hairline fracture in the fireplace.

The report says ''the material or fuel which first ignited was the sub-floor, which was in direct contact with the bottom portion of the fireplace.''

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