Local News

Large fire guts Johnston tire store

Posted June 11, 2008
Updated June 12, 2008

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— Fire officials say that a large fire gutted a nearly 50-year-old tire store at U.S. Highway 301 and N.C. Highway 222 late Wednesday evening.

Crews from seven fire departments in Johnston, Wayne and Sampson counties brought more than a dozen trucks to the fire at Kenly Tire Services, 302 W. 2nd St., just off Interstate 95.

Firefighters contained the blaze about 75 minutes after it broke out shortly after 8 p.m.

Overnight, firefighters checked for hot spots at the store and planned to put foam on the tires as a precaution.

Authorities said no one was injured in the fire, and no homes or businesses were evacuated.

Two lanes of U.S. 301 South were shut down, and N.C. 222 was completely closed while crews fought the fire, Kenly police officers said.

Kenly fire officials said most of the fire was coming from the bay area, where tires were stored, when they arrived. The fire then pushed its way into an office area. Residents said black smoke hung in the air three blocks from the tire store.

At one point, police requested that public utilities boost water pressure for the town due to the large amount of water needed to fight the fire.

Fire officials said lightning might have started the fire, but they could not determine its cause without further investigation. Storms were passing through the area when the fire broke out.

Marion Renfrow, 65, said he and co-owner Marie Renfrow did not have any insurance on the building but planned to try to over from scratch. Renfrow and his employees will clean the building on Thursday and try to get the business up and running again, he said.

The compressor wasn't damaged in the fire, so they can still sell and install tires as early as Thursday, Renfrow said.


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  • firecaptain2000 Jun 12, 2008

    Interesting replies....

    As of December 17, 2003 - Homeland Security Presidential Directive #5 requires all civil response agencies to operate under 1 incident command system, with only 1 Incident Commander. Typically, the "IC" will rotate among executive staff personnel of various agencies as the incident leans more toward their discipline, but this is not a requirement.

    My point is that regardless of the type of incident, the media regularly plays to law enforcement as if they somehow are the only ones intelligent enough to give a credible statement about the situation at hand. Take note of this as time goes on. When the media asks police officers at a fire, "What happened", their safest response would be to say, "Something got too hot".

  • redneckboy196 Jun 12, 2008

    Okay.. seeing that 'some' of us are residents of Kenly, we know the cooperation that is there between the fire and police squads...so unless you know the matter of who called what out, you need not say anything because all your opinion is doing is siring the pot on a situation that that has no room for it.

  • wcnc Jun 12, 2008

    firecaptain- Wonder where you have your fire job.....from your attitude toward police, I bet you don't have a good working relationship with them!! How arrogant of you!! There are some details left out of that little sentence that would've given the entire story. You don't have to get all worked up about it. It seems some have already given some options on how the situation could have been. But, did you ever think that the report got it wrong??!!

    Now, calm down and go to work....

  • chelada chick Jun 12, 2008

    I believe most of the smell and smoke, in and around our area, can also be contributed to the wildfires buring near the coast. Heard that as well on the radio/tv this morning

  • awr117 Jun 12, 2008

    Can smell it in Raleigh as well

  • starglow2005 Jun 12, 2008

    "hey fire captian.. we all know firefighters go to what others run from and cops are only brave enough to throw bullets at. maybe him getting on the radio to ask for water was the most excitement in his big town career."

    Clayton, you're so funny!8-)

  • starglow2005 Jun 12, 2008

    Wow....No insurance on their family business and probably sole source of income! I hope they can recover from this fire quickly for themselves and their employees.

    Animal lover, it sounds like the basic equipment needed to change tires was not damaged, so they should be able to re-open for business quickly once the mess is cleaned up to an acceptable level to function and run the business. They don't really need to be inside a building to change tires unless it's raining.

  • asbrooks Jun 12, 2008

    I live between Zebulon and Pilot and can smell the burning tire odor. YUK!

  • clayton mia Jun 12, 2008

    hey fire captian.. we all know firefighters go to what others run from and cops are only brave enought to throw bullets at. maybe him getting on the radio to ask for water was the most excitment in his big town career.

  • headlong Jun 12, 2008

    Was wondering what the smell was...can smell it all the way here in Oxford. Gosh this strong here hate to be closer.