LUMBERTON, NC – Over the weekend, Lumberton fire crews were called to an early morning fire at Gibson Cancer Center. It happened Saturday around 7:15 a.m.
No one was in the facility at the time and no one was injured. The cause of the fire is still under investigation.
As of Monday morning a temporary location is on Oakridge Blvd., just around the corner from the center.
According to Lori Dove, Vice President of Post-Acute Care Services for Southeastern Health, patients receiving radiation treatments are being transferred to both Cape Fear Valley Health and Scotland Health for now.
“So you just kind of thought well gosh what’s going on. You can’t run down the road and see. We could hear the fire trucks coming,” mentioned Kathy Brown, who was at work when the fire happened.
Saturday’s fire was any indication that the damage left behind extends far past the building itself.
“In 2013, I was diagnosed with stage four cancer in my appendix,” Brown stated.
Brown underwent two rounds of chemotherapy along with two major surgeries at Duke Hospital in Durham before receiving treatments at Gibson.
“It really helped not having to do the two hour drive. They provide gas money and they pay and provide meals…and do fundraising. Do a lot of things out of their pockets,” she said.
Brown says GCC helped feed families on both Thanksgiving and Christmas.
“It’s going to displace the workers that depend on their income,” she explained.
“I don’t think people realize how these areas like the cancer center… how important they are in small communities,” Brown added.
According to Brown, the center was planning on feeding 75 families for the Fourth of July.
However, they facility is set to reopen within the next month.