Blaze destroys three businesses

Published 6:32 pm Friday, February 7, 2020

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AHOSKIE – What sparked an early morning, six-alarm fire here Thursday that destroyed three businesses remains under investigation by local, state and federal officials.

Ahoskie Fire Chief George Michael Bradley said the blaze originated in a commercial building on NC 42 West that is leased by David Hunt. There, Hunt operates his business – Hunt’s Auto Center – and sub-leases space to Ahoskie Auto Sales and The Barber Shop.

“Fire was showing through the roof at the front of the building when we first arrived at 2:51 am,” Bradley said.

The Ahoskie Fire Department’s platform truck directs water onto a blaze that started in the early morning hours of Thursday at a commercial structure located on NC 42 West. Photo courtesy of the Ahoskie Fire Department

At the outset, Ahoskie Fire Stations 1 and 2 were dispatched, along with the Winton Fire Department and the Union Volunteer Fire Department.

Due to the size and scope of the blaze, Bradley also asked for the Millennium and St. Johns volunteer fire departments to be dispatched to the scene.

All totaled, there were 10 units and 39 firefighters on the scene.

Adding to the inferno, Bradley said, were 10 vehicles that were parked inside the repair shop of Hunt’s Auto Center.

“This marked the first time we had the opportunity to use our new platform (ladder) truck,” Bradley said. “It performed as expected as we were able to get on top of the fire instead of having to fight the fire all from ground level.

“The platform truck also saved the other exposures at the scene, to include numerous vehicles parked outside,” Bradley added.

He said the cause of the blaze is under investigation by the Ahoskie Police, specialized personnel with the Office of the State Fire Marshall, and an ATF (Alcohol-Tobacco-Firearms) agent.

The last Ahoskie unit left the scene at 2 p.m.

Bradley thanked all the responding fire departments as well as the Ahoskie Police, Hertford County Sheriff’s Office, Hertford County EMS, and the fire investigators.

On Friday, the owner of The Barber Shop posted on Facebook that he had found a temporary home for his business on Main Street across from the Ahoskie Town Hall.


About Cal Bryant

Cal Bryant, a 40-year veteran of the newspaper industry, serves as the Editor at Roanoke-Chowan Publications, publishers of the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald, Gates County Index, and Front Porch Living magazine.

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