Vilas workshop destroyed by fire
by Kellen Short
The building, located in the 1600 block of N.C. 194 South in Vilas, was already fully on fire when Cove Creek Volunteer Fire Department received the call just before 8 p.m., Chief Terry Combs said. The building was owned by Randy Blake Carpentry, he said.
Combs said the callers had built a fire in the stove, left the area and came back to find the building aflame.
Firefighters could not identify the exact cause of the blaze but attribute it to a malfunction with that heating unit, he said.
The building was believed to contain paint thinners and other chemicals, but those items did not cause a significant change in the firefighting efforts, Combs said. He reported several small explosions caused by tires popping on portable equipment in the building.
Although the building didn't collapse -- the walls were made of concrete blocks -- it and almost all of the contents were destroyed, Combs said.
Crews from Foscoe and Boone also responded to the fire, and all fire departments had cleared the scene by about 10:30 p.m.
Part of N.C. 194 was closed to drivers due to the abundance of responding fire vehicles.