Investigators Look for Cause of Flea Market Fire
Posted September 11, 2007 6:01 a.m. EDT
Updated September 11, 2007 6:43 p.m. EDT
Dunn, N.C. — Investigators are trying to determine what caused a fire that destroyed the Dunn Flea Market early Tuesday morning.
Authorities said the blaze occurred shortly after 4 a.m. at a building at 800 N. Fayetteville Ave. A police officer, who reported the fire, said he could see the flames coming out of the roof.
George and Karen Wallace said friends broke the news that the place where they had sold homemade fudge and jewelry was reduced to rubble.
"I can believe something like this has happened, and we had no insurance to cover things we had inside our little shop. I don't know how we are going to get started again," Karen Wallace said.
The Wallaces are among the vendors that used to call the flea market a home away from home.
"That was like a second home to us. We all looked forward to coming down here on the weekends and we hated leaving. We had such fun," said vendor Rhonda Kloempken.
The owner of the flea market said he felt bad for the vendors because he considered them all as family. He also said many people came from out-of-state to shop at the flea market.
Fire officials said the building was made of heart pine, which may have led to the fire's spreading quickly. They also said the building did have a sprinkler system.
There is no word on the extent of the damage, but Dunn City Manager Ronnie Autry said the structure, which used to be a building and supply center, is a total loss and will have to be rebuilt.
There are no reports of any injuries. Agents with the State Bureau of Investigation and the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives are looking into the fire. The cause was unknown Tuesday afternoon.