There are no indications of anything suspicious but an investigation is continuing to determine the cause of a fire that destroyed a car wash on N.C. 16 North in Millers Creek early Thursday morning, said Wilkes Fire Marshal Niki Hamby.
Firefighters were dispatched to the fire at Millers Creek Laserwash about 2:20 a.m. Thursday after it was reported by passing motorists on N.C. 16 North.
Millers Creek Fire Chief Robbie Bolin said he lives about half a mile away from the car wash and heard explosions from the fire as he was preparing to leave his home in response when fire departments were dispatched.
Bolin said there were at least five or six explosions, which he said likely were containers of materials used at the car wash and stored in a mechanical room on the end of the structure where Hamby said the fire is believed to have started.
He said the fire apparently began in the roof area on this end and burned the entire length of the roof, consisting of wooden trusses and a metal roof. The remainder of the structure was made of concrete and block.
There were also two automatic car wash bays on this end and the rest of the structure consisted of five self-service car wash bays. Hamby said he hasn’t ruled out electrical issues as the cause.
He said owners Steve Jarvis and Mark Jarvis have insurance on the building and added that he will work with the insurance company’s investigator on the investigation.
Bolin said the building was a total loss and that car wash equipment was heavily damaged.
Assisting Millers Creek were the Cricket, Champion, Goshen and Wilkesboro fire departments. The Wilkes Rescue Squad also responded. There were no injuries.
Bolin said firefighters were on the scene until about 5:30 a.m. Thursday. He said N.C. 16 was closed to traffic for about 30 minutes.