Cause of fire still under investigation; injured firefighters recovering

Published 3:14 pm Tuesday, October 5, 2021

Investigators were still working Tuesday afternoon to determine the cause of a fire that destroyed the Kwik Mart building on Third Street in Washington early Monday morning.

The building was engulfed in flames when first responders arrived at the location around 3:45 a.m. on Monday morning. The City of Washington reported that two firefighters were injured when a nearby wall collapsed. Both firefighters were transported to Vidant Beaufort Hospital and later released with non-life-threatening injuries. Washington Police and Fire Services Director Stacy Drakeford said Tuesday afternoon that the two were doing well and “in good spirits.”

Aside from the firefighters, Drakeford said investigators knew of one other person who was injured in the fire. They have not released that person’s identity.

The State Bureau of Investigation, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Washington Police Department were on the scene of the fire.

Firefighters initially couldn’t enter the charred building to investigate because of concerns about its collapsing structure. Once the roof caved in, crews started working Monday to pieces of the fallen roof so they could continue their investigation within the building.