Local News

Lightning May Be Cause Of Fire At Goldsboro Landmark

Posted May 3, 2004

— Investigators returned to the scene of a fire at a landmark building in Goldsboro Monday. They said lightning could be to blame for the fire.

No one was inside the 77-year-old Wayne County Memorial Community Building when the fire was reported after 1 p.m. Sunday. The building, which housed a swimming pool, gymnasium and offices, was closed for the weekend.

"I, as a child, used to come and swim in the pool myself. It's really going to be missed. A lot of people depended on this building," Fire Chief Bobby Greenfield said.

It took firefighters about three hours to bring the blaze under control.

The City Parks and Recreation Department is now looking for other places to house seasonal programs and summer day camps, but for gyms and indoor swimming pools, there are precious few options.

"This is priceless. This building here is basically the only building that is downtown for children," said Darryl Woodard, executive director of youth outreach.

The building was completed in 1927 as a memorial for war veterans. Plaques of deceased veterans from World War I, World War II, Korean War and Vietnam Wars were on the walls inside.

"It's a historical momument -- a site we can't replace. The things that are in there you just can't replace them," Goldsboro Mayor Alphonso King said. "But we, as a community, are going to have to circle the wagons and see where we go from here."

King called the fire "a tremendous loss."

"It's pretty much gone," King said. "We'll have a job now determining how to bring it back."

One firefighter suffered minor burns and was treated at the scene.

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