Arcade on Carolina Beach boardwalk catches fire
Posted September 25, 2014
Carolina Beach, N.C. — The owners of an arcade on the boardwalk at Carolina Beach vowed to rebuild Thursday after the business was gutted by fire Thursday morning.
Billowing smoke could be seen from the oceanfront, and the flames also damaged a nearby pizza parlor. No injuries were reported.
"It was billowing so much, you couldn't see the buildings," visitor Dennis Fish said.
"We saw the fire from down the beach," visitor Petra Anderson said. "So, we're trying to find out, if we bring them there, if there are doughnuts or not."
Britts Donut Shop, a Carolina Beach landmark, wasn't damaged by the fire.
"As long as Britts didn't burn down, that's an icon," Fish said.
"Everybody comes over, 'It wasn't Britts, was it?'" a police captain said with a laugh.
Police put up barricades to keep people away from the arcade until engineers can check the stability of the building.
The cause of the fire remains under investigation, but authorities said they don't consider it suspicious.
Carolina Beach Fire Chief Allen Griffin said fires have damaged the boardwalk area before, but they aren't common.
A lot of local still talk about a fire in the early 1940s that destroyed the entire boardwalk. It was rebuilt then, and people said they hope it once again comes back strong.
"This is the heart of Carolina Beach," Griffin said. "It's what brings a lot of visitors. A lot of people come to Britts and come to the boardwalk for the arcade."