UPDATED: Flying Possum Leather catches fire, one person hospitalized

Photo: Todd Gill / Enlarge
Fayetteville Fire Department officials meet outside Flying Possum Leather after a fire damaged the Dickson Street store early Monday.

Update (2:20 p.m.) – Fayetteville Fire Department Battalion Chief Mauro Campos said the exact cause of the fire has not yet been determined, but that arson has been ruled out.

Update (11:30 a.m.) – Store owner Bruce Walker was killed in the fire.

Update (10:50 a.m.) – The Flying Possum Leather shop dog, Bugsy, has survived the fire and is currently at the city’s animal shelter.

One person is hospitalized after a fire at Flying Possum Leather on Dickson Street in Fayetteville early Monday morning.

Outside Flying Possum Leather

Captain Rick McCurdy of the Fayetteville Fire Department said heavy smoke was reported at around 6:35 a.m. and when fire crews arrived on the scene, one person was found inside the building and was transported to Washington Regional Medical Center.

The person’s name and condition are unknown at this time.

McCurdy said the building suffered significant damage and that the fire remains under investigation.

Owner Bruce Walker opened Flying Possum Leather at 526 W. Dickson Street, just across the street from George’s Majestic Lounge in 1976. For nearly 34 years, Walker has made custom sandals, leather belts and guitar straps for Fayetteville residents and musicians around the world.