U.S. 158 remains closed in Jarvisburg tonight as fire crews continue overhaul at the scene of a blaze that destroyed the Cotton Gin store Saturday afternoon.
The fire appeared to start in the attic area about 1:40 p.m., with employees and customers still inside the store alerted to the flames by passersby. Everyone got out safely and no one was injured.
The Lower Currituck Volunteer Fire Department and Crawford Township Fire Department were initially dispatched to the landmark store at 6957 Caratoke Highway for smoke from the roof.
“Initial units arrived at 1:48 p.m and reported flames from the roof and declared a working fire,” Lower Currituck VFD Deputy Chief Hayden Poulin said in a news release. “Command was established an multiple automatic and mutual aid fire departments were requested.”
A tanker task force was also requested to supplement water supply from multiple county hydrants.
By 8:30 p.m., the bulk of the fire had been knocked down and units were still on scene. U.S. 158 remained closed in both directions. Traffic was rerouted through side streets, with heavy backups, particularly southbound. Both sides of the road were closed because a fire hydrant is on the southbound side.
The cause of the fire is under investigation.
The Cotton Gin started as a general store back in the late 1960s — owned by the Wright family, farmers who bought a working cotton gin back in the 1950s.
In the 1980s, the family opened the Cotton Gin in Jarvisburg, and the store quickly became a popular stop for visitors on the way to and from the beach. Since then, the business has expanded with locations in Nags Head, Duck and Corolla.
The Wright family also owns and operates Sanctuary Vineyards.
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