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WRIGHTSVILLE BEACH, NC (WWAY) — It’s a long ago event few people are left to remember, but 80 years ago today the complexion of one of our area’s most popular beaches was changed forever.

On Jan. 28, 1934, winter winds fanned a fire at Wrightsville Beach that devastated the popular resort town. In the end, more than 100 buildings were reduced to ashes, including the iconic Oceanic Hotel.

Over time, though, the island community rebuilt and reemerged as a desired destination for lovers of sun, surf and sand.

Five years ago, on the 75th anniversary of the fire, WWAY NewsChannel 3’s Kevin Wuzzardo spoke with Bill Creasy, a Wrightsville Beach resident who was just a child when he watched much of the island, including his family’s vacation cottage, burn. You can watch the story by click on the video above.

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