One unaccounted for after family of four escapes massive fire in NC

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WAUTAGA COUNTY, N.C. — Emergency crews were on the scene of a 7-alarm fire at a large, multi-unit building in Watauga County early Friday morning, WSOC reported.

County officials said that personnel were trapped inside a building right next to the Valle Crucis Elementary School at the intersection of Highway 194 South and Broadstone Road.

The fire started around 6 a.m. and officials said that a family of four was able to escape, but that one man went back inside to look for another person.

Officials said one man had been flown to the hospital with serious burns to roughly 40 percent of his body.

Officials said a man was then flown to the hospital with serious burns to roughly 40 percent of his body. Another person was still unaccounted for, emergency workers told WSOC.

Watauga County Communications tweeted that people were trapped, but later clarified that all fire and EMS personnel were safe and accounted for.

WSOC reached out to the Mast General Store, which is next door to the building on fire. They said the building is Valle Landing Shops and Restaurants.

Susan Mast, a neighbor who witnessed the fire, said: “I was hearing booms and at 6 a.m. my neighbor called to say the Valle Crucis School was on fire. I know now it’s not the Valle Crucis School, it’s the Valle Landing,” she said. “The smoke was coming into our house. Our house is I guess two-tenths of a mile up the hill from there, and now that there’s daylight, the smoke is the biggest thing in the valley.”

Highway 194 South will be closed for a while because of the fire, and Broadstone Road was also being impacted.

The SBI was being called to help investigate the fire.

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