By Hank Wiesner/Southern Sentinel
RIPLEY – A fire early Sunday morning destroyed Cotton’s Gun and Pawn Shop on City Avenue North in Ripley, and produced smoke and water damage to a nearby building, firefighters said this week. There were no injuries.
Ripley volunteer firefighters and three trucks were dispatched about 5 a.m. and found the long-time Ripley business fully involved.
The wooden building housing the pawnshop was only a few feet away from a business to the north of it, and another business to the south. The business to the north was undamaged, but the business to the south, Merle Norman, sustained smoke and water damage, and damage to the outside of the building. Firefighters said the anomaly was due to wind blowing out of the north.
They secured from the scene about 8 a.m.
Ricky “Cotton” Carr and his wife Wanda said Monday morning they plan to reopen in another location in about three months. The couple asked those with questions about the items they’ve pawned to call 837-3859.
“We’ve already had people needing to pawn stuff this morning, but we can’t take anything right now,” Wanda Carr said.
“Many of our customers have said not to worry about their things, but still, we’re just devastated. There was a lot destroyed in the fire, but we saved a lot of jewelry that was in a safe.
“We’re a typical mom and pop shop. We’ve been married 37 years, and we joke about having raised each other. We’ve been in business about 30 years, and we’ve been able to help a lot of people. It’s been a good ministry for us. We’ve been able to send our kids to a Christian school and get them through college.
“We love our customers, and we’ll try to compensate them as much as possible,” she said.