UPDATED: Fire at Maready Tire Company destroys trailer
Firefighters battle the blaze at Maready Tire Company. Photo by Catherine Hardee / Neuse News
Customers and employees at Maready Tire Company, located at 5746 Hwy 70 West in Lenoir County, got an unpleasant surprise Tuesday afternoon when smoke began to pour from a trailer behind the building.
It all started around 3 p.m., when an employee noticed smoke coming from a semi trailer behind the building that was used for tire storage. A customer, Fuller Tyndall, said he was inside the shop when the employee came in the back door and alerted those inside to the smoke.
Tyndall said he and the others in the shop at the time stepped out the back door to see, and he noticed smoke coming out from under the trailer. Within a few minutes, Tyndall said, the trailer was entirely engulfed in flames.
Four volunteer fire departments responded to the fire: North Lenoir, La Grange, Hugo and Sandy Bottom. Their combined efforts were able to get the fire under control. North Lenoir Fire and Rescue Assistant Chief Lynn Wiley said the fire did not spread into the building itself, and that everyone in the shop and the connected convenience store and restaurant was able to get out safely, without injury.
As the fire departments wrapped up their efforts, Wiley said the Lenoir County Fire Marshal’s office was on the scene conducting an investigation into the cause of the blaze.
J.L. Daughety, who owns the property, said there appeared to be very little structural damage inside.
“We think it’s mostly just smoke and water damage. We hope we can clean it up in three or four days,” he said.
A Lenoir County institution — Maready Tire Company at 5746 Hwy 70 West — is currently on fire. U.S. 70 West has been reduced to one lane while firefighters are battling the blaze.
Four volunteer fire departments have responded to the scene: North Lenoir, Hugo, La Grange and Sandy Bottom.
Fuller Tyndall said he was standing inside shopping for tires when someone came running in shouting about smoke. Tyndall and the person stepped out back to see what was going on and smoke was coming from under a trailer where tires were stored. Tyndall said a couple minutes later, the trailer was engulfed in flames.
Catherine Hardee of Neuse News is on site; this is a breaking story and will be updated.