Local News

Fires damage convenience store, displace family

Posted December 21, 2009 6:45 a.m. EST
Updated December 21, 2009 9:20 a.m. EST

— Early morning fires displaced a Zebulon family and damaged a Smithfield convenience store Monday, authorities said.

Three children and their father were home at 515 Derby Place when a fire started around 3:45 a.m., said Zebulon Fire Department Chief Sidney Perry. The father woke up and smelled smoke. He got his three children and himself out safely.

The fire caused extensive damage to the side and rear of the house, making it unlivable, Perry said. A car parked next to the house was also damaged.

The children's mother had left for work before the fire. The cause of the fire is under investigation.

Smithfield Fire Department Chief Patrick Harris said that New York Market, at 1208 E. Market St., caught fire around 2:30 a.m. By the time firefighters arrived, flames had engulfed the building.

The interior of the store was damaged in the front corner, where the fire originated. Harris those areas appeared to be a total loss. Storage areas were not damaged.

Smithfield Fire Marshall Paul Whitehurst ruled the fire accidental and said it was likely caused by faulty electrical wiring in the ceiling.