Fires affect Wears Valley, Newport Highway businesses

Jun. 25, 2013 @ 11:08 PM

Two local businesses suffered setbacks from fires over the past few days, as the Event Barn at Immanuel’s Farm in Wears Valley burned down Sunday morning, and a fire Monday destroyed much of the product at Frazier’s Discount Lumber on Newport Highway.

Shea Frazier, who owns Frazier’s Discount Lumber along with her husband, suffered burns on her arms and legs when she tried to put the blaze out soon after it started Monday morning. She didn’t require treatment at a hospital at the time, although she said later in the day that she was advised to go to an emergency room if they started to blister. “It feels like a very, very bad sunburn,” she said.

The fire started in front of a structure the couple used to hold much of the lumber and hardware they used to work on their product, she said. They mainly focus on building floating docks for people with property along Douglas Lake, and they lost some of the docks they had been working on.

She and an employee were working behind the structure when the fire started. No one else was inside. A passing motorist alerted them to the fire, and that’s when she suffered the burns. She believes the fire started in a fan, because it was the only piece of equipment that had been left on while they were outside working.

Firefighters from several agencies responded to the fire, but were only able to keep it from spreading.

Still, Frazier said the plan is to be open again Tuesday, because there is some lumber that was not inside the structure and can still be sold. She hopes to have the parts and new supplies to begin working on docks again later this week.

The fire was the second setback for Frazier's in about a week. Last week’s heavy rains caused flooding on the property.

“It’s just been one thing after the other this month, but we trust in the Lord, and we’ll prevail,” Frazier said.

The fire at the Event Barn happened early Sunday morning. No one was inside when the fire started, and no one was hurt, Wears Valley Fire Chief Tony Patty said.

“There’d been an event earlier but it was finished and everybody was gone," he said. "No firefighters were hurt.”

Several agencies responded to that fire as well; they were on the scene at about 2 a.m. and left at about 7:30 a.m., Patty said.

The owners of the barn could not be reached Monday for comment.

The scene was still too hot Monday for investigators to search for a possible cause, the chief said.

jfarrell@themountainpress.com