After fire, Pik N Pig barbecue restaurant gearing up for rebuild, recovery

CARTHAGE — Ashley Sheppard was awoken by a phone call in the early morning hours of May 30 to the news that his restaurant was on fire.  It was his cousin, Matthew, a firefighter with the Southern Pines Fire Department. He told Sheppard there was a fire at the Pik […]

CARTHAGE — Ashley Sheppard was awoken by a phone call in the early morning hours of May 30 to the news that his restaurant was on fire. 

It was his cousin, Matthew, a firefighter with the Southern Pines Fire Department. He told Sheppard there was a fire at the Pik N Pig, the barbecue restaurant that Sheppard and his family have run for over 15 years, that he was en route and Ashley should come. 

It was shortly before 4 a.m. when Sheppard got to Dowd Road, near his mother’s house, a few miles away from the restaurant. That’s where he first saw the sky glowing pink. It was two hours too early to be the sunrise. 

“Either that’s an odd haze or we’re in bad shape,” Sheppard said. 

He first saw flames shooting up over the trees when he crested the hill on the short road leading up to the Pik N Pig and the neighboring Gilliam-McConnell Airfield, where pilots of small planes would often fly in for dinner. 

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