HAVELOCK—At least two businesses were victims of probable arsons during the early hours Tuesday morning.
According to Justin Raye Yates, co-owner of the seasonal Nightmare Factory, a large outdoor display was set ablaze at the business, and carpeting stored in semi trailers at the Furniture Distributors were also ignited.
The city of Havelock did not release any information on the blazes.
Yates said he was awakened at about 4 a.m. when police called to tell him the Mausoleum, a building featuring actors portraying zombies over the Halloween season, was on fire. He hurried to the scene, he said, to find that the building did not burn; however, a major attraction that was stored behind the mausoleum was destroyed.
He said that, at the same time, he saw the fire at the Furniture Distributors lot, about 300 feet away. “There are a couple of semi truck trailers,” he said. “They were full of carpet and somebody opened up the back of the trailer and lit those too.”
He added that the outdoor attraction that burned had originally been destroyed by Hurricane Florence. “Now we rebuilt it, and it got destroyed in the fire. Third time’s a charm, I guess.”
Yates said that the damage will not keep the Nightmare Factory from opening in September. “We didn’t lose anything that is replaceable,” he said.
“We’re just happy everybody is okay.”
Yates said, “The fire department just did an absolutely phenomenal job. They acted quickly and were so cool to us. If they would not have acted so fast… we would have lost everything.”