The second floor of the Pirates Chest gift shop is in flames Wednesday afternoon. No one was injured, fire officials reported. Photo: Richard Taylor

For Ocracoke news, click here.

By Richard Taylor

Editor’s note: This article has been updated to reflect the location of the origins of the fire. It was not in the apartment, but in the space above the shop.  

A fire broke out in the space above the Pirates Chest souvenir shop at the corner of Irvin Garrish Hwy and Back Road early Wednesday afternoon.

Ernie Doshier, assistant chief of the Ocracoke Volunteer Fire Dept. (OVFD), who was in charge at the scene, said the fire was called in to 911 at 1:20 p.m. and trucks were on the scene by 1:30 p.m.  He said the fire was contained within about 30 minutes. No one was injured. 

Doshier said 15 volunteer firefighters responded to the call as well as “a bunch of people from the community,” who assisted in holding ladders and hoses and cleaning up.

This was the second major fire on the island this year. Compared to the April 6 fire that gutted Raul Ibarra’s home behind the Variety Store, Doshier said this incident was “just as bad, just as serious.”

The cause of the fire was not determined and Doshier said the fire marshal from Dare County will arrive today to assess the damage and make a determination.

The OVFD responded with all of their equipment.

Firefighters pulled the first hose from the station’s pumper/tanker truck and aimed water towards a burning attic window  while connecting multiple sections of large feeder hoses and pulled the long strings to fire hydrants 400 and 600 feet away. The ladder truck sprayed water onto the roof.  

At one point, flames could be seen coming through a south side attic window and from places in the roof.

Significant fire damage was evident throughout the second floor and roof. The downstairs retail store did not sustain any major fire damage, but suffered a great deal of water and broken glass damage.

Firefighters were on the scene for several hours and sheriff deputies and National Park Service law enforcement rangers assisted with traffic control.

A damaged upstairs window. Photo: Richard Taylor
The OVFD sprays down the Pirates Chest roof to contain a fire in the second floor. Photo: Richard Taylor
Woody Billings, right, helps Dick Jacoby roll up hose after containing a fire at the Pirates Chest Wednesday. Photo: Richard Taylor
Previous articleDolphins snag 2 out of 3 against the ‘Canes
Next articleOcracoke historic homes tour set for today


  1. Sorry to see that this happened. We have been visiting the OBX since 1991, and visited Ocracoke on our very first visit. Since then, we make it a day of hanging out on the different beaches, and shopping the Pirates Chest for the best souvenirs around. Most of the time I think we go to Ocracoke just for the ferry rides, which is twice on our weekly visits, and are always different and enjoyable. We’re glad that Amy and her son are fine, and did not incur any injuries. We hope to see that all is well in August.

Comments are closed.