Warrenton, N.C. — Firefighters from several cities and towns were called Wednesday evening when a massive fire broke out at a farm supply store near downtown Warrenton in Warren County.
The fire broke out just before 6 p.m. at Southern States Farm & Garden, at 216 W. Franklin St.
A spokeswoman for Warren County Fire and Rescue said that personnel were been positioned throughout the city as a precaution while crews, which included up to eight fire departments in the region, fought the fire.
Authorities said wind was a factor in the fire spreading so quickly through the building.
Firefighters were letting the blaze burn out and using very little water late Wednesday in an effort to prevent too many chemicals from entering the water supply. Hazmat crews were also on the scene.
The building, which used to be an old tobacco warehouse, is one of the town's oldest businesses, said Milton Cooper, an inspector with the Division of Motor Vehicles who was helping to direct traffic away from the area.
"It's pretty much grain and feed. You can get pretty much get anything from there. It's your average hardware store. It's been at that location for years," he said. "It's a shame we lost it, but thank God nobody was there."
Fifteen nearby homes from five surrounding blocks were evacuated, authorities said.
No injuries have been reported.
There is no word on the cause of the fire, which is believed to have started in the left rear of the building. The State Bureau of Investigation has been called in, but foul play is not suspected.
Mayor Pro Tem Woody King said the town is strong.
"It pulls together during disaster and tragedy. So, I hope we will prove ourselves," he said.