Update: Linville Gorge fire continues, dry weather could challenge containment-attachment0

Update: Linville Gorge fire continues, dry weather could challenge containmen­t

Yesterday’s rain helped reduce the size of the raging fire in the Linville Gorge Wilderness area from 2,700 acres to about 2,275 acres, but the blaze continues to blanket a popular site for hiking, climbing and camping. Officials are now worried that an upcoming week of warm, dry weather could challenge containment efforts.

BREAKING: New Belgium fire ‘very suspicious’-attachment0

BREAKING: New Belgium fire ‘very suspicious­’

The cause of the structure fire that started in the River Arts District late April 5 evening remains as opaque as the smoke that billowed from it. The flames overtook two buildings at the future New Belgium site on Craven Street. (Photo by Max Cooper) ***UPDATE Saturday, April 6 at 3 p.m.: AFD has determined these fires were intentionally set.***

Community closure to honor Richmond Hill Inn set for Saturday, open to the public

It’s time to say good-bye to the Richmond Hill Inn, Asheville. After OM Sanctuary announced its plans in August to transform the historic grounds into a wellness-oriented retreat center, the nonprofit wants to give the public a chance to experience the grounds in a Community Closure event this Saturday.(photo by Caitlin Byrd)

$20,000 reward for info about fatal medical office fire-attachment0

$20,000 reward for info about fatal medical office fire

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), the city of Asheville and Asheville–Buncombe Crime Stoppers are offering a combined reward of up to $20,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible for setting the fire at the Medical Office Complex Building, 445 Biltmore Avenue, Asheville

Deadly Biltmore Avenue fire was arson

The July 28 fire that killed Asheville Capt. Jeff Bowen was deliberately set, according to a report just released by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; the Asheville Fire and Police departments, and the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation. No further details are available at this time, and anyone with information about the crime should contact the AFT Arson Hotline (888-ATF-FIRE), the APD’s Crimestoppers hotline (828-255-5050) or the N.C. SBI’s hotline (800-334-3000). For the full release …

UPDATE: AFD’s Capt. Jeffrey Bowen fatally injured in Biltmore Ave. fire

UPDATE: Asheville Fire Department’s Capt. Jeffrey Bowen, a 13-year veteran of the department, died today, July 28, after battling a blaze at 445 Biltmore Ave. Another firefighter, Jay Bettencourt, was taken to Augusta, Ga., for treatment. According to information released at a 5 p.m. press conference, the building was older and not required to have a sprinkler system. Bettencourt and Bowen were working as a team in the incident, and six other firefighters were also injured.

Photo by Katy Brooks

Xpress Files: Richmond Hill Inn bankruptcy documents-attachment0

Xpress Files: Richmond Hill Inn bankruptcy documents

Federal bankruptcy court documents filed by the owner of the Richmond Hill Inn show that the loss of the inn’s historic mansion to fire on March 20 was valued at $7 million, including $25,000 in oriental rugs, $55,000 in food and wine and an unknown amount to replace the irreplaceable — a portrait of Gabrielle Pearson, the wife of the congressman and ambassador who built the original Victorian mansion in 1889.