An electrical short in the wire of outdoor Christmas lights caused a spark that lit the shrubbery in front of Smith's south Charlotte house, fire officials said. A passerby saw the flames and flagged down a police officer, who called firefighters.
Battalion Chief Tom Link said Smith was home at the time of the fire, but "he actually didn't know (about the fire) until we tried to get to the door."
Smith declined comment tonight.
The 11,000-square-foot home on Sharon Lane has an assessed tax value of $2.1 million. Smith's son, Scott Smith, has said his father lives there with his dogs, a big bull mastiff and several German shepherds. Charlotte Observer