Business owner rebuilding after fire

More than six months after a raging fire swept through three landmark businesses in Granite Falls, the property owner is rebuilding.

Sam Snyder, who owned the property where Northside Superette, Northside Coin Laundry and Fred's Tire were located at the intersection of U.S. 321-A and Pinewood Road, is bringing life back to the longtime thriving businesses in southern Caldwell County.

On Jan. 3, all Snyder could do was stand and watch as the buildings he has owned and businesses he has operated since the early 1980s burned to the ground. Now, he's about two months from completing construction on one of two buildings.

“It looks a lot better going up than coming down,” Snyder said.

The fire destroyed the buildings and businesses just after the start of the new year on a cold, wintry night. A fourth business, Caldwell Used Appliances, operated by Larry Edmisten, also was destroyed. Edmisten had operated his business there for more than four years; 52 appliances and his tools were stored in the building when the fire broke out. He leased his portion of the building from Snyder.

Investigators with the Caldwell County Fire Marshal's Office, State Bureau of Investigation and insurance companies worked together to determine what led to the fire but were not able to find an exact cause. The fire originated in Fred's Tire, though Fire Marshal Robbie Wilkie said there was so much damage to the buildings that it was difficult to pinpoint the cause.

Snyder and his family said they are trying to bring their iconic businesses back to Granite Falls.

“We've missed them,” Granite Falls Town Manager Linda Story said. “They've really filled the needs of residents in our community for years, providing them the opportunity to buy gas locally and to get their bread, milk and other supplies for their families.”