Can I park in the fire lane if I need to load, unload, run in for a second or sit in the car waiting for someone?

No, the fire lane is a vital part of the entry/exit of a building.  The Fire Marshal or a Police Officer will ask someone to move from the fire lane or may to write a citation and leave it on the vehicle.  The section of code that is being enforced is located in the the North Carolina State Building Code Volume V “Fire Prevention”  states that fire lane is part of the fire appartus access to a building,  in section 503.4 it states “Fire apparatus access roads shall not be obstructed in any manner including parking of vehicles.”