Investigators have determined an April fire that gutted the popular Christmas Mouse store began in an area at the back of the building used to store cardboard boxes, The cause, however, is still unknown.
The source of ignition “remains undetermined, with no foul play suspected,” Town of Nags Head spokeswoman Roberta Thuman said Thursday.
The shop at 2401 South Croatan Highway in Nags Head opened in 1987 and became a tradition among families visiting the Outer Banks. Rob Marshall, whose family owns eight Christmas Mouse locations in Virginia, North Carolina and South Carolina, said the store will be rebuilt.
The fire, reported at 2:15 p.m. April 12, started at the back of the building and quickly spread through much of the store, to a utility tower behind the shop, and a small thicket of mostly pine trees to the north. No one was hurt.
The Christmas Mouse is a family tradition for many locals and visitors, with families strolling through year after year, and buying ornaments for Christmas trees back home.
The two-story, 8,000-square-foot store featured nine rooms upstairs and four sections downstairs filled with Christmas trees, wreaths and other decor. Dare County tax database values the building at $513,400.