North Carolina Newspapers

Photo by Charles Hopson
18 Hons After Blaze Consumed Buildings, Smoke And Flames Continue With Occasional Explosions
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Photo hy Jody Higgins
Shopping Carts Are All That Remain After Flames Destroyed Ray Brothers Grocery
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Photo by Jody Higgins
View Os Store Backs Show Total Destruction Os Ray Bros, Ben Franklin, Carolina Tire
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Photo by J ody Higgin
Firemen Battle Raging Fire Which Lit Up The Night For Miles Around Burnsville.
V0L.36, NO.l
Fire Hits Downtown Burnsville Stores;
Damages Estimated At $1 Million
By Carolyn Yuziuk
Monday night at approxi
mately 10:00 p.m. a fire
started—apparently in the
basement of either Ray Mo
thers Food Center or Ben
Franklin Store—and quickly
became a holocaust which
burned out of control until
early Tuesday morning and
caused an estimated $1 mil
lion in damages. The fire
completely destroyed three
of the larger businesses in
downtovn Burnsville: Ray
Brothers Food Center, Ram
sey's Ben Franklin Stcre and
Carolina Tire Company.
Styles and Company, ad
jacent to the shopjing com
plex, was also damaged by
fire, but the damage was
believed minor an 1 confined
to the garage building itself.
Intense heat from flames
caised steel bearm in the
ceiling of the shopping cen
ter to buckle, and walls on
both sides and rear of the
brick and frame structure
Firemen and firefighting
equipment and trucks from
Newdale, Spruce Kne, B»-
keisville, Mars Hill and Mar
shall came to the assistance
of the Burnsville Volunteer
Fire Department, and only
through determined and he
roic effort was the fire com
tained in the immediate
area involved. At times,the
flames shot up over 100 feet
high over the burning Steves.
Cloee by the raging fire
were the old Northwestern
Bank Building and the Post
Office, which the fire mira
culously left untouched. The
frame residence and antique
Store of Rush Way, owner
of Nu-Wray Inn, was per
haps closest to the fire and
the most severely endanger
ed, but energetic efforts
of firemen kept the flames
from gaining a foothold theru
Observers speculated that
had the wind blown just the
right way, the Nu Wray Inn
itself could have gone up in
Monday night's fire was
Stated to have been the worst
in Burnsville's Mstcry.
One observer who was on
the scene almost from the
beginning of the fire, told
how the Burnsville firemen
seemed to have the situation
under control right from the
Start, as only smoke ms seen
Irwin Bank
Assets Up
John M. Logan, executive
vice president of Frist Feder
al Savings of Erwin,said that
total assets of the local finan
cial institution had increased
over 25 per cent to s2l mil
lion, Logan said that 1971
was the greatest year in the
firm's history.
During the year the asso -
elation paid $920,000 in in
terest to its depositors.
Looking ahead to 19
Logan said, "We feel it is
going to be another excellort
year for the association. The
outlook for savings remains
good and we expect the home
loan market to be more ac
tive in 1972. "
issuing from the buildings fer
quite a while. Then there
was an explosion, he said,
and flames diot up sky high,
burning through an electric
wire above the stores and
plunging parts cf the city in
to darkness. Volunteer
firemen tentatively set the
blame for the fire on a leah
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TRAIN WRECK NEAR GREEN MOUNTAIN—ThIrty-soven cars were derailed last Friday sight near Green Monatais.
The Clinchfield line was traveling through a short tunnel when reportedly a brake shoe came loose and caught under a
wheel causing the derailment. Boxcars were derailed on both ends of the tunnel. Many of the cars,loaded with paper,
rolled down an embankment to the Toe River. Crews moved in immediately and had the track cleared by 4 p.m.Sunday.
No injuries were reported Photo by Charles Hopson
Roberson Named Director Os Student
Personnel For MAY Tech.; Makes Survey
Mrs. Flora B, Roberson of
the Newdale Community in
Yancey County has been
named Director of Student
Personnel in the newly estab
lished Mayland Technical In
stitute. Mrs. Roberson has
been making frequent visits
to the Yancey Countyschools
recently, working with Mr.
John Schortinghouse, Coun -
selor, in making a survey
of student interests.
Mb. Roberson formerly
served as Guidance Counselor
in the Mitchell County
Schools, and for the past se
veral years has been full time
Counselor at Harris High
School, Spruce Pine.
A graduate of Micaville
High School, she received
her BA degree at Tusculum
College and her Masters de
gree at Appalachian State
Univeßity. She also atten- -
ded North Carolina State
Mrs. Flora B. Roberson
ing propane gas line.
The fire departments
fought the blaze until 5:00
a. m. Tuesday andßrmsville
firemen were still at the
scene of the fire, dousing
ashes, through most of
Tuesday afternoon and even
ing. Small explosions were
frequent at the scene as cars
University. She is a past
president of the North Caro
lina Education Association,
Mitchell County Unit. She
serves also in Yancey County
as lay speaker for the Metho
dist Church.
Mrs. Roberson has alimys
been a great believer in the
programs offered in the Ta:h
nical Institutes and Commu
nity Colleges, and says that
only the opportunity to work
with students in this type of
school would have induced
her to leave her work in the
Jaycees Sponsor Benefit Gospel Sing
Sunday, At Cane River High School
There will be a Gospel
Singing at Cane River High
School on Sunday, January
9th at 2sOO p. m.
The singing is a benefit
for the Rev. James Beaver,
a well-known minister who
has been sick for some time
and is in desperate need of
financial aid. There ' will
be no admission charge, but
there will be a free will of
fering taken for Rev. Beaver.
Groups taking part in the
Gospel Singing are the Joy ••
fulaires of Alexander, N.C. ;
Bee Log Quartet of Burnsville;
Maple Ridge Trio of
N.C.; Happy Echoes, Swan
nanoa; Good News Quartet,
Candler; Peek Family; Re
bels Creek Quartet of Bakers -
of hair spray and other cans
and bottles became heated
to the point of exploding.
Around 6:00 p. m. Tues
day evening the fire alarm
sounded again for the exha ra
ted Burnsville firemen when
the blaze flamed up despite
an all-day rainfall and com
plete dotsing earlier. The
public schools.
Mrs. Roberson expressed
her appreciation for the co -
operation of the principals,
the teachers, the counselors,
and students in Yancey
County in making the student
interest survey. The in
formation gained from the
survey will be used to help
determine the curriculum to
be offered in the new Tech
nical Institute. Without
such cooperation, she says,
the Institution could not of
fer an effective program.
ville, N.C.; PrayerwayQuar
tet of Mars Hill; Trailway
Quartet of Boone, N.C. ;the
Gethsemane Quartet, Spruce
Pine; Thomas Brothers,WK
YK, Burnsville; Rainbow
Quartet, WBMS, BlackMoun-
Masons Install Officers
On Thursday night, De *•
cember 23, 1971 Burnsville
Lodge #717 AF C AM install
ed its officers fer 1972,
Newly elected and install
ed officers were as follows:
Lawrence C. Wilson, Mas
ter; Paul Bran ton, Senior
Warden; Terrell Wilson, Jun
ior Warden; Homer Price,
10 c
s mcxildering of over 1,000
tires which had been stored
in the basement of Carolina
Tire Company could be re
sponsible for much of the
continuing action. The
blaze, however, has exacted
its toll, and down tow n Bir ns
ville will never really be the
Results of the survey,which
has also been made in the
Mitchell and Avery County
schools, will be made avail
able to the guidance counse
lors and principals of the
high schools.
Mrs. Roberson looks for
ward to working closely with
the guidance department in
the local schools in inform
ing students of opportunities
in North Carolina's Techni
cal Schools and Community
tain; Glory Bound Quartet,
Mars Hill.
The Singing is sponsored
by the Yancey County Jay
cees. Ed Ball is Master of
All singers and the public
are invited to take part.
Treasurer; Hcrsc hel bblaon be,
Secretary; Dennis Carroway,
Senior Deacon; Richard Wil
son, Junior Deacon; Bruce
Smitl» and Lee Thompaon,Ste
waids; Ralph Towc,Chaplain
Larry Wilson, Tyler.
Hcischel Holcombe was
the installing officer and How
ard Nelson was the Marshall.

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