Local News

Large fire guts Johnston tire store

Posted June 11, 2008 9:05 p.m. EDT
Updated June 12, 2008 12:12 a.m. EDT

— 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.