Last Thursday, June 13 (1968) during the lunch hour a fire was discovered that in about 30 minutes leveled a large warehouse at the Herman A. Keeton Lumber Co. in Red Bay.
Damage was estimated by the owner at more than $100,000. Besides the building, the fire also destroyed tools, mill supplies such as nails, and the entire stock of lumber, a good bit of which was said to be kiln dried moulding.
The fire was reportedly first seen at the north end of the building by workers having their lunch, who sounded the alarm.
Individuals a great distance away reported having seen flames against the building and in dead grass between the building and the railroad, company officials say, before the alarm sounded. There was reportedly no electrical wiring in the north side of the building, which was used for storage. No workmen were inside the building, workers say. A southbound freight train had passed 15 to 20 minutes before the fire, reportedly.
Despite the tremendous heat of the blaze, there were no injuries reported.
Members of the Fire Department were commended highly by the company for preventing the spread of the fire to nearby buildings.
Neither the building nor any of its contents were covered by insurance, said the owner, Herman A. Keeton.