Thursday, May 31, 2007
Fire strikes downtown building
By SUE WATSON
A fire at the former Holly Springs Upholstery and Antiques building last week brought activity at the square to a standstill as people left their offices and businesses to watch firefighters put out the blaze.
The fire started in a storage shed about 10 feet behind the building, now owned by Jakey Hurdle, according to Holly Springs fire chief Kenny Holbrook. The cause is unknown.
The May 22 fire generated a lot of smoke and heat and took 22 firefighters about an hour and a half to put out, he said.
The heat from the fire in the storage building, which Holbrook said still had some materials stored in it, melted two gas meters located between the shed and the upholstery building.
“The gas was blowing at 25 pounds of pressure on a one-inch line,” he said. “It acted like a little flame thrower until the gas was cut off.”
There was some damage to the rear exterior of Canton’s Restaurant, he said.
Firefighters had to cut through the roof to attack the fire trapped between the ceiling and tin roof of the shop. The ceiling, made of three-quarter inch beaded board, was not reachable from the shop interior by firefighters, he said.
Holbrook called the work done by his crew, “a really good stop.”
He said the fire could easily have spread down the entire row of buildings through the ceilings and roofs.
“That was a really big stop by firefighters,” he said. “A major fire was diverted by their activity.”
Three fire engines and one pumper with a 26-foot ladder were deployed at the scene.
Holbrook said outbuildings are being outlawed because they can be a major cause of fires that destroy main buildings.
The Holly Springs Fire Department responded to 27 calls over the period from May 14 to May 25, including: 15 medical assistance calls; two grass fires; six structure fires, two in the city and four in the county; two auto accidents, one with injuries and one with extrication; two false alarms; and one smell of gas.
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