LAURINBURG – A Laurinburg convenience store and market known for its bargains on meat was destroyed by fire, according to North Scotland Fire Chief.
Officials from the Scotland County Sheriff’s Office, five local fire departments and Hoke County responded to a late night fire at J’s Convenience Store on US 401 just outside Wagram on Thursday night.
The call came in to the emergency operations center shortly before 10:30 p.m. when the fire was detected by the alarm company. The business had already closed for the evening.
By the time the fire crews arrived, the building was fully engulfed.
“I’d say it’s a total loss,” said Neil Shaw, chief of North Scotland Fire Department. “By the time we got there it was going pretty well. A crew made an attempt to go in the front door but the heat was too bad, so we vented the roof. As soon as we did it became fully engulfed.”
Crews spent about an hour getting the conflagration under control and the fire had been extinguished by 2:30.
Crews had to scramble to find water hookups due to a scarcity of fire hydrants in rural areas, according to Shaw.
Thirteen trucks from Laurinburg, Laurel Hill, Springhill, Maxton and Hoke County we on hand to assist with the blaze.
No other homes or structures in the area were threatened.
Although the cause of the fire has yet to be determined, the Scotland County Sheriff’s Office has called in the SBI and ATF because a business was involved, according to Capt. Earl Haywood chief detective for the sheriff’s office.
“It’s typical with these cases to take samples and send them to the state lab we want to document everything like we would with any other case,” Haywood said. “It could take a while before we know anything for sure.”
Investigators were on scene throughout the day on Friday conducting the inquiry.
The current estimated damage total stands at $75,000.
Reach Beth Lawrence 910-506-3169