3 buildings destroyed, 1 damaged by fire in Sanford

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SANFORD, N.C. (WNCN) — Crews were on the scene of a four-alarm fire in Sanford for more than seven hours Sunday. The blaze started in a cabinetry shop and rapidly spread to another business right next to several homes.

UPDATE: Fire officials investigating cause of fire at Sanford businesses

“There was flames shooting out of the back of the roof so it was pretty well involved when the first units arrived on scene,” said Sanford Fire Chief Wayne Barber.

Around noon crews from Sanford and surrounding areas were called to Robert’s Cabinets and Tops. Chief Barber says the flames started there and quickly worked their way through a storage building and claimed a comic book shop next door.

“We feel there’s a lot of contributing factors with the age of the building, the age of the wiring and the materials that were stored in there, the wood, saw dust, lacquer thinners, stains, that type stuff that would be very flammable,” said Chief Barber.

The owner of Robert’s Cabinets was out of town at the time of the fire. Residents say the shop had been there for decades.

“Robert has been there for 41 years and his whole life is pretty much in there, or was,” said friend Timothy Robbins.

“It’s been pretty active in the community for several, a long time,” said Chief Barber.

The owner of the comic book shop lived in his store with his wife. He said they lost around 60,000 comics, but are just glad no one was hurt.

“I don’t know what happened or why, I don’t know but I’m very sorry to see that happen,” said neighbor Marelda Creech.

Creech watched the fire from her home next door. She says crews were at one point spraying water on the roof of a nearby home with water to make sure it didn’t catch fire.

“It was like the more water the fire department was spraying on the fire, it was just, the fire was getting bigger and it seemed like the water wouldn’t put the fire out,” said Creech.

The fire was such a risk and so difficult to douse at one point, crews had to kill electricity to power lines around the scene.

“We had to have Duke Power kill the power along both streets because like I say we had an aerial here plus we had our people working, and those lines we just couldn’t take the chance we had to kill it,” said Barber.

Sunday evening fire officials were still concerned about hot spots at the fire site. They were using heavy machinery to sift through the debris to make sure there were no smoldering embers that could catch fire again.

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