BLOWING ROCK — A lamp located in the back of a store in Blowing Rock is said to be the origin of a fire in a local business and historic building on June 26, according to Blowing Rock Fire Chief Kent Graham.
The fire department received a call about a structure fire at 5:06 p.m. inside Take Heart Boutique — a lavender-colored building on the corner of Main Street and Maple Street. Graham said a fire engine arrived on scene at 5:11 p.m. and the fire was controlled at 5:24 p.m.
A light with a clamp that was being used in the back left corner of the store in a dressing room area was identified as the cause of the fire. Graham said he was unsure if the light was near combustible material or if it was an electrical failure of the lamp. No injuries were reported in the incident, Graham said.
The building experienced smoke damage throughout the structure with about 25 percent of it experiencing damage from the fire itself, Graham said. He was unsure of the amount of damages to the building or to the store’s inventory.
A staple of the business known to many of its visitors is a prayer garden located to the right of the store, with many handwritten prayer requests attached to nearby trees. Graham said none of the prayers that are hanging on the trees were burned during the incident.
Graham said he believed the building was erected around 1900. He also said the building was one of the only structures located on the eastern side of Main Street that did not burn down in 1923 when the town lost an entire side of the street due to a fire.
“It’s unfortunate,” Graham said. “I’m hoping the insurance will decide to restore it.”
Graham said he did not think the building would be a total loss, but added that it would be a decision for the insurance company and building owner.
The Blowing Rock Chamber of Commerce announced on June 27 that an account was opened at First Citizens for “love offerings” for the owner of the Take Heart business as a result of the fire.
“Owner Sheri Furman is always the first person to rally the troops and help anyone in need in our community,” the chamber said in a statement. “Let’s rally around Sheri with our love, prayers and donations.”
First Citizens Bank can take cash and checks made payable to the Bless Your Heart Fund, according to the chamber. The mailing address is First Citizens Bank, P.O. Box 268, Blowing Rock, NC 28605.
A GoFundMe set up by Jason Barr is taking in donations for Furman at www.gofundme.com/f/help-sheri-and-take-heart. As of July 2, more than $3,500 has been raised.