October 6, 2016

UPDATE: Fire at Pop’s Raw Bar causes
significant damage, traffic jam

By Joy Crist

Video by Dr. Rudy

A structure fire at Pop’s Raw Bar in Buxton caused damage and traffic delays on Wednesday evening, Oct. 5.

The report of the fire was received by local dispatch at 5:03 p.m. and was responded to by 18 personnel and three pieces of equipment from the Buxton Volunteer Fire Department, eight personnel and two pieces of equipment from the Frisco Volunteer Fire Department, the Dare County Emergency Medical Services, and the Dare County Fire Marshall.

The incident was managed by Assistant Chief of the Buxton VFD, Carroll Midgett Jr., and after the arrival of the first engine from Buxton, the fire was knocked down in fewer than five minutes, according to Jeffrey Del Monte, deputy chief of the Buxton Volunteer Fire Department.

After the main fire was extinguished, crews spent several hours in an extensive salvage and overhaul operation throughout the business, which involved opening up floors and walls to extinguish hidden pockets of fire in the crawl spaces and in the wall cavities.

The fire was contained in the kitchen, hall and bathroom area, and also spread to the crawl spaces of the building. An area of the rear deck was burned as well, but the dining room area and bar area were untouched by fire, although there was some smoke damage.

The building was occupied at the time of the fire, but there were no reported injuries.

Traffic was stopped in both directions from the site for roughly two hours on Wednesday evening in order for the fire crews to have access to the closest fire hydrant.

“A fire hydrant was on the left (north) side of Highway 12, on the opposite side of the business, so to maintain a constant water supply, we had to hook into that hydrant,” said Del Monte.

The last unit cleared the scene at 8:36 p.m., although the volunteers of the Buxton Fire Department worked until 11 p.m. cleaning the equipment, replacing hoses, filling air bottles, and regrouping after the fire.

News of the fire spread quickly, and the public responded with sympathy and sadness that the iconic local establishment – which has been a long-time popular hang-out for visitors and locals alike - had been damaged.

“So sad to hear about this,” said one Facebook commenter. “We just did our yearly pilgrimage to Pop's last week and as always had so much fun. Our hearts go out to everyone there.”

“Sorry to hear this. Thankful no one was hurt. LOVE Pops and hoping for a quick rebuild,” said another Facebook poster.

The exact cause of the fire has been undetermined, and finding the cause has been deferred to the Dare County fire marshal’s office.

Although it is hard to speculate on the exact extent of the damage, Del Monte is hopeful that portions of Pop’s can be saved.

“We speculate that the business will not be a total loss, and [all of us at the Buxton Volunteer Fire Department] wish the business owner and his employees a speedy recovery, and we hope that Pop’s is open again as soon as possible.”

Del Monte also notes that all fire services on Hatteras Island are provided for by volunteers, and that all of the departments are always looking for new members.

“We meet people all the time who moved here in the past year or two, and didn’t realize we are looking for volunteers,” says Del Monte. “But we’re always looking for some new members.”

comments powered by Disqus