A two-story business that housed furniture since 1971 closed Tuesday afternoon in a blaze of flames.
Sam’s Used Furniture, located at 911 Lejeune Blvd. in downtown Jacksonville had its last share of business after the structure raged in flames after an inspection failed, according to the 79-year-old owner Sam Bright.
Although officials haven’t confirmed the cause of the fire, Bright told the media Tuesday that the fire started during an inspection of the business sanitizer which caught a mattress on fire.
Bright described the sanitizer test as a mattress sealed in a room for two hours with temperatures at 230 degrees. During the test, Bright said he smelled smoke and after opening the test room door, he saw flames.
Everybody that was inside the building at the time escaped safely.
Bright said he’s unsure of what the future holds for the business and said what happened today was for a reason. “It’s something you got to live with,” he said.
Jacksonville Public Safety said that the call came in approximately at 1:30 p.m. Tuesday afternoon. The business was evacuated and utilities were disconnected.
The fire at Sam’s Used Furniture closed down NC Highway 24 East and Westbound into the city of Jacksonville and from Beirut Memorial to Lejeune Motorsports.
Jacksonville officials say they expect the roadway to be close down for some time and are asking motorists to seek alternate routes.