Local News

Family Business In Edgecombe County Damaged By Fire

Posted June 4, 2005

— Members of an Edgecombe County family watched Friday night as firefighters fought to save their business from flames.

A fire broke out at the Southern Mattress Manufacturing Company, which is located just outside of Rocky Mount.

Firefighters contained the fire Friday night before the fast-moving flames reached the main building of the company. But on Saturday morning, the storage building -- where the fire began -- was a pile of charred wood and twisted metal.

"I was surprised at the devastation of the (storage) building," Linda Lewis said.

Lewis' family has owned the mattress manufacturing business since 1966. They also sell furniture, and the storage building was where they kept the furniture for sale.

"We probably lost at least a third of our inventory with the furniture," Lewis said. "We just feel so lucky not to have had any injuries."

Lewis said the family also feels lucky that the main part of the building, where most of their work is done, did not have any smoke or fire damage.

"We will not have to have any layoff time for our employees," Lewis said. "We'll be able to come in Monday and start right back."

She said investigators still have not determined what caused the fire.

She said there was no electricity running to the storage building, and the investigators told her that it could take a while to determine the cause of the fire because of the damage.

"We're just at a loss as to what could have possibly started this," she said.

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