PEMBROKE — Flames destroyed a Hardee’s restaurant here on Friday shortly after an earlier fire at the fast-food establishment was believed to have been contained.
No one was injured in either fire.
“You can’t guarantee you get it on the first time. There are sometimes you have to come back,” said Robert Locklear, Pembroke Fire Department deputy chief.
Firefighters were called back to the Hardee’s restaurant at 317 W. Third St. about 4:30 p.m., he said.
“There were people on site,” the deputy chief said. “I reckon, they were Hardee’s representative on scene. They notified dispatch, and we were called out.”
The same restaurant caught fire about 2:15 p.m. and was declared extinguished less than 90 minutes later.
Firefighters from town of Pembroke, Pembroke Rural, Deep Branch, Raft Swamp, Queheel and Prospect fire department were called to the second fire.
“When I got back on scene we saw there was smoke coming from the roof, and once we got set up all of a sudden it erupted into a blaze of fire,” the deputy chief said.
That’s when he called for assistance from other Pembroke stations and other fire departments.
“It was fully involved at the time I called in for mutual aid,” he said.
The flames could be seen from about a mile and a half away, said Haloyd Locklear, a Pembroke firefighter.
It will be at least Tuesday before the fire’s cause will be known, Pembroke Fire Chief Timothy Locklear .
“It’s a total loss,” Deputy Chief Locklear said. “The best thing to do is tear it down. You can’t come back and rebuild it because of the way it is burned so bad.”
Firefighters remained on the scene after 9 p.m. to secure the area and to make sure no hotspots were smoldering in the rubble.
“It will be a while before we leave,” the deputy chief said. “It’s going to be a long night.”
When he arrived Friday afternoon for the first fire, Chief Timothy Locklear was told there was smoke coming from the roof of the building.
“When I arrived on scene, I noticed heavy smoke coming from the building,” Chief Locklear said. “Crews were able to get in and contain the fire pretty quickly. There is a lot of damage on the inside of business.”
Smoke could be seen streaming from the restaurant’s roof.
Third Street between Breece and Pine streets was closed starting about 1:50 p.m. so emergency vehicles could respond to the scene, said Edward Locklear, interim Pembroke police chief. The street reopened at little after 4 p.m.
About a dozen firefighters could be seen going in and out of the building with hoses, axes and a drywall hook, which is used to pull away sections of drywall.
The outside of the building appeared intact, the inside of the food chain wasn’t so lucky.
Firefighters had to knock four holes in the roof near the back door and kitchen area, said Haloyd Locklear, a firefighter.
“That’s the second time we’ve been up there, we knew a lot of it (hotspots) was in the roof,” Haloyd Locklear said. “We decided to go back up and cut us another hole to see if we could draw out some more (flames).”
Oxygen is fuel for a fire, the firefighter said. The holes help coax the flames and allows firefighters to be sure the fire is extinguished.
The fire was extinguished about 3:40 p.m. Firefighters used a thermal imaging camera to detect flames and hotspots that may have been missed.
“If there is fire the guys will spray wherever the hotspot is at and cool it down,” Chief Timothy Locklear said.
The Pembroke restaurant is the second Hardee’s franchise in Robeson County to burn in recent weeks. The Hardee’s at 507 W. Broad St. in St. Pauls caught fire on Christmas Day. A quick response by local firefighters and a fire suppression system in the restaurant minimized the damage.
Reach Annick Joseph at 910-416-5165 or via email [email protected] or connect on Facebook Annick MultiMedia Journalist