Illegal fireworks sparked a fire and caused about $30,000 in damages Monday to the roof of a downtown building.
The damage closed the Register of Deeds and Orange County tax offices on Tuesday. The tax office will reopen Wednesday, however, the Register of Deeds office will remain closed, officials said.
Those seeking marriage licenses should visit neighboring counties for now, they said.
Orange Rural Fire Department responded to the call at 7:19 p.m. Monday for the fire at the Gateway Center, 228 S. Churton St. The building houses Weaver Street Market and Orange County government offices.
Efland, Eno and New Hope fire departments also responded.
The fire burned a 20-foot-square area on the roof before being extinguished at 7:34 p.m. The building’s third floor, where the Register of Deeds office is located, suffered water damage. Metal roof decking also was damaged. The repair work started Tuesday and will continue Wednesday.
Fire officials found the remains of bottle rockets on the building’s roof and in the parking lot between the building and Eno River Parking Deck.
Firefighters called Hillsborough police around 11 p.m. to report someone shooting bottle rockets from the top of the parking deck toward the Gateway Center roof. Police are reviewing surveillance footage.
“The town sounded like a war zone while we were out there — mostly from West Hillsborough and down U.S. 70-A areas of town,” said Hillsborough Fire Marshal and Emergency Management Coordinator Jerry Wagner.
It is illegal in North Carolina to possess firecrackers, fireworks that spin on the ground, roman candles, bottle rockets and any aerial fireworks.