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Wood stove could be to blame in Avery fire PDF Print
Sunday, 09 December 2007 18:11

A fire that reduced an Avery County landmark to wreckage Friday could have started in a wood stove, investigators say.

Officials are still examining the rubble at Joe Howell’s Store on Highway 19-E.  State Bureau of Investigations arson investigators were on scene Friday, but officials say that’s routine.


The fire, discovered just after 4 a.m., attracted over 60 firefighters.


Sheriff Kevin Frye says the building was already burned through by the time firefighters were called to the scene.


He commended firefighters Friday for what he called a “phenomenal” effort.


The 4,000 square foot building was completely destroyed. The Store is a landmark to locals, and has been everything from a grocery store to an indoor antique mall and flea market.

The current owners do not think they can rebuild.
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