Investigation into Morgan Chair fire turned over to state investigators

Published 9:51 am Friday, September 23, 2022

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The investigation into a massive fire that destroyed Morgan Chair, an upholstery business in Stanfield, last Friday has been handed off to the North Carolina Department of Insurance, according to Stanly County Assistant Fire Marshal Evan Faulkner.

“We turned the origin and cause investigation over to the State Fire Marshal’s office Fire Investigation Unit,” Faulkner said. “We’re still assisting them, but they’re actually the ones that will be writing the final report.”

The Office of the State Fire Marshal is under the umbrella of the N.C. Department of Insurance.

Faulkner was the investigator on call last Friday and said he called one of the state investigators he knew personally to request some assistance “just because it was such a large loss.”

“That’s where the state’s fire investigation unit really come in, is large dollar losses and fatalities,” Faulkner said.

While he does not know when the state’s investigation will conclude, Faulkner said his best estimate would likely be sometime next week.

The first call for service came about the fire into Stanly 911 at 3:48 p.m. for the business at 391 Sunset Lake Road.

Fire crews from West Stanly, Oakboro, Ridgecrest and Midland first responded to the blaze, while tanker trucks from New Salem and Fairview in Union County assisted at a later time, along with Mount Pleasant Fire Department.

The Stanly County Fire Marshal’s office, Stanly County EMS and Stanfield Police Department were also on scene.

Jesse Morgan, owner of the upholstery business, was the only person in the building when the fire started.

In a Facebook post, the West Stanly Fire Department said one firefighter sustained minor injuries while fighting the blaze, but was treated and released from the scene.

Morgan Chair’s 25 full- and part-time employees were back at work on Monday — though at a new location. The company is now working out of the old Rusco building in Oakboro.

About Chris Miller

Chris Miller has been with the SNAP since January 2019. He is a graduate of NC State and received his Master's in Journalism from the University of Maryland. He previously wrote for the Capital News Service in Annapolis, where many of his stories on immigration and culture were published in national papers via the AP wire.

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