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Saturday, January 22, 2022

Fire consumes at least half of QVC’s vast distribution center

On Saturday morning in Rocky Mount, North Carolina, a huge fire erupted at the QVC distribution center, a home retail chain, that ripped through the 1.2 million square feet building and destroyed at least half of it, officials said.

Eric Evans, manager of Edgecombe County, North Carolina, told reporters that the fire was reported at about 2 a.m. There was no damage and all staff were accounted for, according to Mr Evans.

“A significant loss, but we very much hope that this is not a complete loss and that they can recover here,” he said.

It is unknown what caused the fire or where it started, Evans said.

By noon, the fire had reached five alarms, affecting up to 70 percent of the structure. according to the Carolina Emergency Notification Network.

Television footage of the fire early Saturday morning shows bright flames and thick smoke rising from the complex off Highway 64.

The QVC said in a statement that the building employs about 2,000 people. It is one of the largest employers in Rocky Mount, a city of about 54,000, 60 miles east of Raleigh.

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“We are currently focused on the safety and well-being of our team members,” the company said. “In addition, we are also working to understand the full impact on products and orders, and will provide additional information to our customers and the supplier community as they become available.”

The Rocky Mount Chamber of Commerce said the fire could affect 2,500 families in the area.

“We wake up with sadness to learn of the terrible fire at the QVC distribution center in Rocky Mount,” the organization said on Facebook. “Our thoughts and prayers are with the QVC staff and our courageous first responders.”

The distribution center has been in Rocky Mount for over 20 years, Evans said.

“It’s awful to get this call,” he said.

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