Huge QVC Distribution Building Heavily Damaged in Fire
The blaze began on Saturday morning at a 1.2 million-square-foot building in Rocky Mount, N.C.,
The blaze began on Saturday morning at a 1.2 million-square-foot building in Rocky Mount, N.C.
A huge fire broke out at a distribution center for QVC, the home shopping network, on Saturday morning in Rocky Mount, N.C., ripping through the 1.2 million-square-foot building and destroying at least half of it, officials said.
The fire was reported at about 2 a.m., Eric Evans, the manager for Edgecombe County, N.C., told reporters. There did not appear to be any injuries and all of the employees were accounted for, Mr. Evans said.
“Significant loss but we’re very hopeful that it’s not a total loss and that they’ll be able to rebuild here,” he said.
It was not immediately known what caused the fire or where it began, Mr. Evans said.
By noon, the fire was a five-alarm blaze that had engulfed up to 70 percent of the structure, according to the Carolinas Emergency Incident Notification Network.
Television footage of the fire early Saturday morning showed bright flames and thick smoke billowing from the complex off Highway 64.
In a statement, QVC said it employed about 2,000 people at the building. It is one of the largest employers in Rocky Mount, a city of about 54,000 people, 60 miles east of Raleigh.
“At this time, we are focused on the safety and well-being of our team members,” the company said. “In addition, we are also working to understand the full impact to products and orders and will provide further details to our customers and vendor community as soon as they are available.”
The Rocky Mount Chamber of Commerce said the fire could affect 2,500 families in the area.
“We are saddened to wake up to the news of the terrible fire at the QVC Distribution Center in Rocky Mount,” the organization said on Facebook. “Our thoughts and prayers are with the employees of QVC and our brave first responders.”
The distribution center has been in Rocky Mount for more than 20 years, Mr. Evans said.
“This is devastating, to get this call,” he said.