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UPDATE: Fire Marshal Continues to Investigate Foscoe Apartment Complex Destroyed by Fire


Local authorities continue to investigate a structure fire that destroyed an apartment building in Foscoe over the weekend and displaced 14 people from their homes.

Foscoe Fire
Photo Courtesy of Mike Teague, Boone Fire Deparment. An apartment complex near the Valle Crucis intersection on N.C. Highway 105 in Foscoe burns early Saturday morning.

Units were dispatched to the fire at 6472 N.C. Highway 105 South near the Valle Crucis intersection just after 3:30 a.m. on Saturday morning after calls were made to 911, according to Watauga County Assistant Fire Marshal Taylor Marsh.

The fire was fully involved by the time firefighters made it to the scene. Responding agencies — including Foscoe, Boone, Cove Creek and Shawneehaw fire departments — were able to tackle the fire quickly, although the building was a total loss.

“They got a real quick knock down on it and they did an excellent job getting the fire knocked down,” Marsh said. “Unfortunately, the building was too far lost at that point — it was a complete loss.”

Initial reports indicated that some of the residents were not accounted for, although authorities were later able to confirm that all 14 people, including several children, managed to escape the burning building. Some pets were lost, however.

“Everyone made it out safe,” Marsh said. “That’s a good thing.”

Displaced from their homes, some residents turned to friends and family for shelter and others relied on assistance from the Red Cross.

Thus far, investigation shows that the fire began in the living room of the apartment on the far right end of the building, which had been converted into living quarters from a storage unit.

Marsh said the two residents were asleep at the time, but their dog woke them up to alert them of the ongoing fire. Another neighbor made the 911 call and went knocking door-to-door to wake the rest of the residents.

Although they’ve determined a point of origin, the WCFMO is still trying to pinpoint how it was started.

“We know for a fact that it started inside the end apartment and we know where in the apartment that it started, but we’re still trying to figure out why,” Marsh said. “We are still talking with the residents and trying to get a general idea of what everybody saw. It’s kind of a time consuming process since there were so many people in that apartment building and we are talking to each one of them.

“We have kept in contact with all of the residents to make sure they have everything they need. We are moving on the investigation pretty quickly and hoping we can get something figured out in the next couple of days.”

Investigators believe the fire was accidental.

Not including the contents of the apartments, Marsh said the building incurred approximately $250,000 in damages, and the flames destroyed several cars in the parking lot.

Known as the Coffee Break Apartments, the complex came under new management just two weeks ago, Marsh said.

At this time, the fire marshal’s office can’t confirm whether or not permits had been pulled to get the converted apartment up to code, although the ongoing investigation should yield more answers soon.

Photo by Ken Ketchie.
Photo by Ken Ketchie.
Photo by Ken Ketchie.
Photo by Ken Ketchie.
Photo by Ken Ketchie.
Photo by Ken Ketchie.