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A clerk at The Rose of Sharon Thrift Store suffered slight injuries in a fire that destroyed the building early Friday afternoon, May 23.
The store clerk suffered minor burns and smoke inhalation, but was not taken to the hospital, said David Robinson of Coastline Volunteer Rescue Squad.
The store, at 2060 Holden Beach Road, is sponsored by Sharon United Methodist Church.
There were three or four volunteers inside the store when the fire started, Sharon Methodist Pastor Eddie Hill said.
“One of the volunteers went to lunch across the street. When she came back, she smelled smoke,” he said. “That’s when they noticed the back of the building was on fire.”
Hill said it was fortunate the volunteer came back when she did because the workers were inside a room with no windows.
“It’s a blessing, God’s hand, that this person came back when she did. It could’ve been real problematic,” he said.
The thrift store opened in mid-May in the building, which was donated to the church, to raise money for outreach to the homeless and other mission work, Hill said. The church’s mission and outreach committee operated the store.
“We’re just thankful that no one was hurt,” he said. “We’re going to do our best to get the store back in operation. We see this as a wonderful way to benefit and give back to the community.”
Hill said because the building was operated by a church, it would be subject to a federal investigation.
Robinson said it’s not clear what sparked the fire.
The Civietown, Tri-Beach and Supply fire departments, Brunswick County Emergency Management Services and the Brunswick County Sheriff’s Office also responded to the fire.
“As always, our local fire departments were great in their response,” Hill said. “They did a tremendous job.”
Sam Hickman is a staff writer for the Beacon. Reach him at 754-6890 or firstname.lastname@example.org.