Continuing wildfire activity update for afternoon of Nov. 14

Press release from U.S. Forest Service and Southern Area Incident Management Team: Incident Resources: 17 crews, 6 helicopters, 1 fixed wing, 64 engines, 16 dozers, 4 water tenders, and 809 total personnel. Boteler Fire (Clay County): The fire continues to be active due to dry conditions and continually falling leaves. Light winds yesterday enabled crews […]

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

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.