November 23, 2014

Fire damages Lee Robinson General Store


A late afternoon fire today damaged Lee Robinson General Store in Hatteras village.

The fire was called in at 4:07 p.m. and appeared to be under control and mostly extinguished about 4:30.

The store is owned by Belinda and Virgil Willis and is closed on Sunday.  The Willises were at their home next door to the business when the fire broke out.

As she watched flames shooting up from the west side of the building, Belinda told Island Free Press co-owner Donna Barnett that her husband said he smelled smoke and next thing she knew he was yelling that the store was on fire.

Hatteras, Frisco, and Buxton volunteer fire departments responded to the alarm, along with other first responders.

The fire damage looked to be limited to the west side of the two-story, wood-frame building with gables.

About 4:30, one of the firefighters inside the building appeared in the window of the second-story tower and gave his colleagues a thumbs-up.

A light to moderate rain had been falling most of the day on Hatteras, and the wind, which was forecast to pick up to gale force late today, was still light from the southwest.

There is no information yet on the cause of the fire or any damage estimate.

At dark, many of the firefighters remained on the scene.

This is the second blaze in a week's time on Hatteras Island.  A fire early Tuesday morning extensively damaged the main office of Outer Beaches Realty in Avon

That one was first reported about 12:12 a.m. by a passerby and already had a good start before fire departments arrived. It took about three hours to get the blaze under control. The three-story, wood-frame building may be a total loss.


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