UPDATED: Blaze destroys the Cotton Gin in Jarvisburg; fire crews remain on scene

Fire engulfs the Cotton Gin in Jarvisburg. [Photo by Donna Manning]

U.S. 158 remains closed in Jarvisburg tonight as fire crews continue overhaul at the scene of a blaze that destroyed the Cotton Gin store Saturday afternoon.

The fire appeared to start in the attic area about 1:40 p.m., with employees and customers still inside the store alerted to the flames by passersby. Everyone got out safely and no one was injured.

The Lower Currituck Volunteer Fire Department and Crawford Township Fire Department were initially dispatched to the landmark store at 6957 Caratoke Highway for smoke from the roof.

“Initial units arrived at 1:48 p.m and reported flames from the roof and declared a working fire,” Lower Currituck VFD Deputy Chief Hayden Poulin said in a news release. “Command was established an multiple automatic and mutual aid fire departments were requested.”

A tanker task force was also requested to supplement water supply from multiple county hydrants.

By 8:30 p.m., the bulk of the fire had been knocked down and units were still on scene. U.S. 158 remained closed in both directions. Traffic was rerouted through side streets, with heavy backups, particularly southbound. Both sides of the road were closed because a fire hydrant is on the southbound side.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

The Cotton Gin started as a general store back in the late 1960s — owned by the Wright family, farmers who bought a working cotton gin back in the 1950s.

Fire engulfs the Cotton Gin in Jarvisburg. [Photo by Donna Manning]

In the 1980s, the family opened the Cotton Gin in Jarvisburg, and the store quickly became a popular stop for visitors on the way to and from the beach. Since then, the business has expanded with locations in Nags Head, Duck and Corolla.

The Wright family also owns and operates Sanctuary Vineyards.

Stay with OBXToday.com for the latest updates.

About Kari Pugh 329 Articles
Kari Pugh is digital director for OBXToday.com, Beach 104, 99.1 The Sound, 94.5 WCMS and Classic Rock 92.3. Reach her at kari@obxtoday.com


      • Passed it as I went down to the Obx to celebrate my birthday. On my way back from the Obx around 3:45pm I could see the smoke from the Wright Memorial Bridge and was rerouted around it just before getting to it . So sorry to see this iconic landmark destroyed , prayers for the Wright family. Hope that they are able to rebuild and continue the legacy of The Cotton Gin.

  1. So sad, I was going to ask my husband to stop there this morning as we were leaving the Outer Banks. This was always my favorite Cotton Gin. So sad. Prayers for the owners and al the employees. 😢

  2. This breaks my heart! My mom & I have always loved this store. We always made sure we stopped there on the way home from the beach. I’m so glad no one was injured!

  3. Rebuild. We will be back in July 2020 and we hope to see the building under roof and in opertion. I hope the insurance covered all. Blessings to the Wright Family and to all the employees.

  4. My condolences to the Wright family. I have thought of the cotton mill here in Elizabeth City, NC—still empty, no one moved in. Back in the 1960’s, it was a busy mill. You have continued a wonderfull tradition ! Please don’t get discouraged !

  5. Beyond heartbreaking.
    Remember stopping there in 1978 on the way to Kitty Hawk. Followed by many more years as we traveled to Avon and then Ocracoke. Of course stopping on way back to Pennsylvania. I have wonderful memories stopping with my children when they were young and as they got older.
    It was a wonderful place, with the nicest employees.

  6. My very favorite place to shop for gifts and for our home. Thankfully I was there a few weeks ago and bought a number of things for family members. What a loss for the owner, employees and all of its customers like myself who loved it very much. Our thoughts and prayers are with you as you digest what has happened and move forward from here. I pray all made it out safely. God Bless

  7. My favorite store. Always take my visitors there when they come down. I go there all the time. Will be safely missed. I am glad everyone made it out safely.

  8. So sad the Cotton Gin burned yesterday. We learned of the fire when we stopped for a bit to eat and heading home. I always loved to stop and shop at the Cotton Gin. My prayers are with the Wright family during this unfortunate time.
    Barbara Kyte

  9. We stopped on our way out on Saturday. My sales receipt says 11:30am. It’s hard to believe it isn’t there anymore. That store was so packed with STUFF! I can’t imagine the $ value of the loss. 🙁

  10. My husband and I always try to stop at all the Cotten Gins in the OBX. But always stop at this one. I hope to see it rebuilt by the time I come back done next year.

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