Cause still unknown in Carter Brothers fire, building back an option

Published 4:46 pm Monday, July 12, 2010

Firefighters worked to battle the blaze of the Carter Brothers’ fire for nearly 12 hours Monday morning, extinguishing the flames at around 3:30 p.m. Monday.

The cause of the fire, which started around 3:30 p.m., remains unknown.

Glen Adkins, vice president of the Pike County Volunteer Firefighters Association, said an investigation will begin Tuesday with state fire marshals.

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“We know it started approximately in the warehouse, but we’re not sure where or what caused it,” Adkins said.

Adkins was the first to arrive on the scene of an incident he described as “fully engulfed.”

“There were some explosions, and I think those were paint cans and different stuff exploding,” Adkins.

The fire left the business damaged throughout, but owners said they aren’t so sure this will be its end.

In fact, starting over is something the family is quite familiar with after a destructive fire in 2000 and a tornado 2006 and 1989.

“It’s unbelievable that something like this has happened again,” said Jonathan Arn, company CEO and vice president. “Tornadoes in 1989 and 2006. The fire in December 2000. It’s heart wrenching. It seems like every 10 years there is a tragedy that devastates the company and affects the entire community.”

Arn said so much time, planning and hard work has gone into bring the manufacturing operation back to the states and to have to stand and watch it all go up in smoke was almost unbearable.

“We’ve have to build back before … so many people depend on us and I feel a responsibility to our employees and the community,” said Arn as he shook his head in disbelief. “We’ll come back. Maybe across the street and maybe in a smaller way…”

For a more complete story, see Tuesday’s edition of The Messenger.

For photos from today’s event, see