Local News

Fire Sweeps Through Spring Lake Businesses

Posted September 13, 2007
Updated September 14, 2007

— Firefighters from 14 departments in Harnett and Cumberland counties and Fort Bragg and Pope Air Force Base battled a blaze that swept through several businesses in Spring Lake on Thursday night.

The fire began at around 7 p.m. at Spring Lake Carpet and Interiors, officials said. It then spread to other businesses in the Wellons Plaza commercial strip center and to a former car dealership being used for storage, witnesses said. Flames were visible above nearby trees as the blaze widened.

At least two 500-gallon propane tanks inside the businesses exploded during the fire, Capt. Andy Thomas of the Spring Lake Fire Department said.

"There was a big boom. You could feel it from inside my room," witness Chad Roberts said.

A firewall in the strip center stopped the blaze from going further, Thomas said. An employee at the carpet store said nearly $100,000 worth of carpets were destroyed in the fire.

Nearby wooded areas also caught fire. Several businesses nearby were unaffected by the flames, but closed early because of heavy smoke.

Firefighters attacked the flames from the ground and from ladders in the air. One of them was taken to the hospital suffering from heat-related injuries.

Crews had to shut down Bragg Boulevard to bring in more equipment to fight the fire, but it reopened early Friday morning.

Officials from the State Bureau of Investigation and the Cumberland County Arson Task Force are investigating the blaze. Authorities said foul play is not expected.


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  • Panther Sep 14, 2007

    I drove past the fire this morning and the whole building burned. I was told by the local’s that there is no fire hydrants along highway 87 so the fire hoses had to be run from Main St. in Spring Lake about 2000’ away. I bet that will change soon! I was also told that the first thing the fire department did was cut a hole in the building causing air to rush in and really expand the fire. They did this before hooking up the fire hoses. One individual told me that it looks like something out of a bad comedy. The fire was still burning this morning at 7:00 am. in the old carpet store.

  • mrtwinturbo Sep 14, 2007

    sww1rb...don't know how long ago that you worked for a propane business but things have changed (but you were right about it being illegal, I worked with HAZMAT during my military days and the regulation states no more than 25 gallons of flammable or combustible liquids shall be stored in a room outside of an approved storage cabinet. The building was far from being a storage cabinet

  • Adelinthe Sep 14, 2007

    I remember several years we were in the middle of a drought and there were numerous brush fires alongside I-40. You'd drive down to the beach from Raleigh and you'd see burn patch after burn patch, and many of them had spread to the surrounding forest and brush.

    So this is nothing new in NC, but is certainly scary at any time.

    Lord, please send us some appreciable rain.

    God bless.

    Rev. RB

  • Adelinthe Sep 14, 2007

    "At least two 500-gallon propane tanks inside the businesses exploded during the fire, officials said."

    They're going to find out this is illegal. I worked in the propane business, and nothing larger than a 100 gallon tank can be placed INSIDE a building. Anything larger has to be 25 feet minimum from any nearby building.

    Thanking God no one's been hurt.

    God bless.

    Rev. RB

  • skinnycow Sep 14, 2007

    I thought so gopanthers. Thanks for the confirmation.

  • gopanthers Sep 14, 2007

    Geisha lots of Brush Fires to. More then I can remember ever hearing about in N.C.... Starting to sound like California around here.

  • skinnycow Sep 14, 2007

    LIfe works in mysterious ways. At a time when most counties are suffering from a water shortage and dealing with water restrictions we are having an increase in fires. There has been a lot of stories about businesses catching on fire this week unless I am delusional and it was all a figment of my imagination. It is early, who knows..LOL