Was fire arson?

By Clint Parker

Flat Creek – An early morning fire Friday (Oct. 26) destroyed the Weaverville Tire & Wheel business located on Old Mars Hill Highway. The business belongs to Buncombe County Sheriff’s candidate and Weaverville area businessman Shad Higgins. The investigative report is still out as to whether the fire was an arson. As of press time, a news conference revealing the results of the investigation had not been held.

The State Bureau of Investigation (SBI), the NC Department of Insurance along with Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) agents were all called in to investigate the fire. According to officials, the NC Department of Insurance and the SBI are called in when an incident involves a high-profile person.

The call for the fire came in close to 4:45 am and Weaverville Fire Department, along with other departments from across the county, responded to the blaze. Buncombe County Sheriff’s deputies also assisted with closing off the road while the fire was fought and deputies were dispatched to Higgins’s home. The Tribune has learned several weeks ago that the business’s front window was shot out with some type of pellet.

According to members of the Higgins family, the tire and wheel business contained over $100,000 in inventory not to mention tens of thousands of dollars in equipment and the building itself. The investigation is ongoing and the Tribune will bring you more details as they become available. Higgins has reopened for business at 431 Old Mars Hill Highway (see front page story).

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