Wednesday, February 27, 2008


Yesterday afternoon a storm passed over Ocracoke village. A lightning flash pierced the sky and a sudden clap of thunder rattled windows. And then the squall passed quickly by, leaving gray skies and cooler temperatures.

Just before supper Dale stopped me on Howard Street. The Ocracoke Preservation Society Museum had caught on fire, he said. Amy, Lachlan, and I walked down that way. Emergency vehicles with flashing lights surrounded the museum, but everything, we were told, was under control. Fowler and Chloe were there so we stopped to chat. They had seen the flames erupting from the roof. Had much water been pumped onto the building? we asked. Enough to cause damage we supposed. I was concerned about the photos, rare documents, and papers stored in the research library.

Later that evening we learned that the damage appeared to be relatively minor, considering what could have been. The library seems to have been mostly spared.

Speculation is centering around a lightning strike. I'm sure a section of the roof will need to be repaired, and work will need to be done to restore smoke and water damaged areas.

A special word of thanks goes to our volunteer fire department for a job well done in containing and extinguishing the fire. In this small, compact village comprised mostly of wood frame buildings surrounded by trees and thick vegetation, fire is a constant threat and danger. We are all indebted to our fire fighters for their community spirit, competence, and dedication.

Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter is a fun island crossword puzzle. You can see it here.


  1. Anonymous3:15 PM

    Hear Hear! Thanks to the Fire Dept. for keeping my favorite island intact. Thanks to you for keeping us Ocracokers (in heart) updated. Love it!! Terrie @ Walkertown NC

  2. Most of the water was dried up this morning when we were able to get in and get pictures of everything. It could have been so much worse - there's hardly a smoky smell. BIG thanks to HYde Co. Inspections and Ocracoke VFD for getting the building open and safe again.

  3. Anonymous9:59 AM

    wow! how scary!
    I'm so glad everything is ok!
    and yes! Thank goodness for OVFD!

  4. Anonymous10:51 PM

    Can I give a big thank you to the Ocracoke Volunteer Fire Department, also? I am sure that in a community as small as yours there is a great sense of pride in being able to do what ever can be done to keep it intact. I have a great sense of what is necessary for fire fighters everywhere to be able to do what they do..several family members of mine do the same here
    in Vermont. Same for EMS. Hundreds of hours of training on their own time to do a sometimes thankless job...A big hurrah for all who volunteer their time to keep our communities,either big or small, safe...