Fire at Hampton gun shop under investigation

Published 3:32 pm Monday, January 22, 2018

A fire Friday afternoon devastated a Hampton business prompting the owners to shut down with no clue as to when, or if, they will reopen.

Around 4:30 p.m. on Friday, a fire broke out in the indoor shooting range area of Barnett’s Guns & Indoor Range. Those inside the business at the time were safely evacuated, and no injuries were reported.

Firefighters battled the blaze for several hours on Friday and were able to contain the fire to the shooting range portion of the business, but other areas of the facility were also damaged.

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A notice on the business’ website alerted customers that the shop is closed. “Barnett’s Guns will be closed until further notice due to the fire that occurred on Jan. 19. At this time we have no information about if or when we will reopen,” the website states.

Crews from all seven of the county’s volunteer fire departments — Hampton, Stoney Creek, Watauga, Elk Mills-Poga, West Carter, Central, and Roan Mountain — responded to the fire. Many other fire departments from across the region answered the call for aid and assisted as well, including the Elizabethton Fire Department and volunteer fire departments from Johnson, Washington, and Sullivan counties in Tennessee and Elk Park Volunteer Department from Elk Park, N.C.

In total, around 80 volunteer firefighters are reported to have assisted in combating and containing the fire.

Members of the Carter County Rescue Squad and deputies of the Carter County Sheriff’s Office also responded to the incident.

According to police reports, after deputies arrived on the scene and made sure all of the employees were accounted for officers began removing all of the firearms and ammunition from the business’ showroom area. Investigators at the Sheriff’s Office also responded to the scene to begin an investigation into the blaze.

The fire is still under investigation at this time and no information has been released about what may have caused the blaze.