Operations expected to continue soon after May Furniture fire in Ramseur

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RAMSEUR, N.C. — Employees with May Furniture could return to work in the next few days, following a fire that destroyed part of their warehouse building.

The fire began sometime around 5:00 a.m. Tuesday at the facility in Ramseur. A truck driver who was returning to the warehouse called 911, stating “I don’t see anybody’s here. I just pulled up and the building is on fire.”

Within minutes about a dozen fire trucks were on scene attacking the flames.

The fire is believed to have sparked at a large “wood chipper” machine at the top of the building. It spread into a nearby trailer and into the ceiling of the facility.

It took crews roughly two hours before they had the fire under control.

“It was spreading rapidly to the fuel of heavy wood products,” Franklinville Fire Chief Kyle Dickson explained. “We had pallets that stretch all the way across.”

The damage was contained to a large storage area for mountains of plywood and the ceiling portion above the upholstery portion of the building.

Fire Chief Dickson said this is not the first time they’ve responded to a fire caused by this machinery.

“It’s a compactor. It blows dust out, takes dust up. We’ve had, in my career, several fires here during the day and was able to get to it quickly before it spread. This time, early hours in the morning, no telling how long it had been burning,” Dickson said.

The most recent incident happened in 2016, but the fire was small and contained quickly.

May Furniture representatives explained that a sprinkler suppression system was installed in the pipes leading up to the machinery to ensure that would not happen again.

The exact cause of the fire has yet to fully be determined.

May Furniture representatives say they are working to get an electrician on site by Wednesday to return power to the facility. Once that is done, people in the non-impacted stations can return to work.

On Wednesday, May Furniture told FOX8, “We have around 100 employees in today who are helping us get part of our facility ready to get employees back to work next week. We are paying everyone their wages through the transition also. It’s really nice to see everyone come together and work as a team.”

They hope to have everyone impacted in the upholstery stations back to work by Monday.

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