CHAPEL HILL, N.C. — Close to 40 stores and offices in downtown Chapel Hill were affected by an early-morning fire Wednesday.
The fire gutted a clothing store on Franklin Street and spread smoke into other businesses.
The fire was reported at 3:27 a.m. It took firefighters on the ground and in ladder trucks an hour to bring the flames under control inside Anjana's clothing store. The store suffered fire and content damage in excess of $1 million.
Neighboring businesses received smoke damage but were not burned.
Another fire was reported in Chapel Hill at 5:15 a.m. Wednesday at a house under construction at 328 Glendale Lane. The house, which was nearing completion, suffered significant damage to the first floor and basement.
The two fires occurred less than 12 hours after fire crews had been called to the former Chapel Hill Bus Station on West Franklin Street at 8:54 p.m. Tuesday. Damage to a storage area was minimal.
Investigators said they do not believe the fires were connected.
Allan Corpus, owner of a beauty salon next door to Anjana's, said he hopes to have customers back in his chairs by Friday.
But "the lady next door," he said, "I feel so bad for her. It looks like she's lost everything there, and she's been there for a long time."
A string of 35 other businesses at Bank of America Plaza let customers in Wednesday while they let the smoky smell find its way out.