Fire fries Walmart’s ‘brains’

By Emily M. Hobbs

May 1, 2014

An electrical fire at Clinton’s Walmart Wednesday afternoon has fried the local store’s computer system, forced a temporary closing of the facility and left residents scratching their heads and wondering when the doors will open again.

That will happen, manager Jennifer Slack said, either late Thursday night or early Friday morning, as the system is able to go back online, allowing cash registers to work and UPC codes to be scanned.

“It’s like our brains are gone,” said Slack in an interview Thursday at the fire site. On Thursday afternoon, personnel were inside the building working on the computer system.

“Right now they are checking the computers one at a time,” she said. Their computer system is though IBM which is in Raleigh, and she said once the damage has been assessed they will be able to get new computers.

“They can get us those new computers in about an hour,” she detailed, noting that a disaster team was coming in sometime Thursday.

Slack reiterated that the Sunset Avenue store should be back up and running on a normal schedule late Thursday evening or, at the latest, Friday morning.

The electrical fire was called in to fire officials around 4:30 p.m. Wednesday. The fire originated in the UPC system and went into their back-up batteries, and then spread into their computers.

Within minutes of news of the fire, Facebook went wild with local posts, questioning what had happened at the store and when it would be open.

No one was injured in the blaze and there was no damage outside the computer room.

Emily M. Hobbs can be reached at 910-592-8137 ext. 122. Follow us on Twitter: @SampsonInd