CALDWELL COUNTY, N.C. — Firefighters in Caldwell County fought a large fire inside a building on Monday morning. Channel 9′s Dave Faherty learned that it possibly started near a wood stove.
Officials said everyone made it out of the building safely; however, much of the inside of the building was destroyed.
Cell phone video captured the fire beginning around 6:30 a.m. along Creekway Drive in Lenoir. It took nearly three dozen firefighters to get it under control.
The owner of the flea market said it has been around for more than 20 years. Businesses there sold used appliances, furniture, and pottery.
Eddie Coffey lived in an apartment at the end of the building. Coffey said he had no idea the flea market was on fire until someone started banging on his door.
“I got up and got my dog and my guitar, and I got out of there,” Coffey explained.
Coffey wasn’t the one person living nearby. The owner allowed two men who ran separate businesses at the flea market to live there. Both described seeing flames climbing the back wall of the building near a wood stove.
The men both said they lost both their businesses and homes Monday morning.
“It only took four minutes and it was already up into the ceiling,” they said. “It went up pretty fast and the reason is the building is probably 80 years old.”
Firefighters were still putting out hot spots more than two hours after the fire started.
Eddie Coffey lost much of what he owned but is thankful no one was hurt.
“It was everywhere. All over the whole building,” he said. “But nobody got hurt, that’s the good thing. God is looking after us.”
Firefighters told Channel 9 that there was so much stuff inside the building that they had to attack the fire from the outside to prevent someone from being hurt.
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