HAMLET — An accidental fire burned several vehicles at an auto shop and ignited nearby brush on N.C. 177 Monday afternoon.
Richard Lassiter, assistant chief of the Hamlet Fire Department, said he was told a man was holding a burning piece of paper in his hand at Quick’s Auto when the wind caught it and started a fire on oil that was on the ground.
Lassiter said part of the building, seven vehicles — cars, trucks and an SUV — and two 125-gallon totes of oil burned, as well as some brush on a nearby hill alongside the railroad track.
Officers from the Hamlet Police Department helped direct traffic heading north on N.C. 177 and the nearby intersection with County Home Road, as traffic was cut to one lane because of the proximity to the highway.
The fire started around 4:50 p.m. and crews were packing up around 6.
Lassiter said Richmond County Emergency Management Director Bob Smith was on scene because of the oil spill and that the EPA will be involved with the cleanup.