ROCKY MOUNT, N.C. (WNCN) – December 18 marks the one year anniversary since the massive QVC distribution fire that killed a young man and left thousands without jobs.
According to social media posts, a billboard on North Wesleyan Blvd. in Rocky Mount will display a sign of remembrance for the life of Kevon Ricks, the young man killed in the massive QVC fire almost a year ago.
Ricks’ mother posted online saying the family pulled together to put up the billboard in honor of Ricks, a young father.
Local pastor and councilmember Richard Joyner said it’s a reminder to all about the loss that day.
“I think that it’s really helpful to remind us and we are very supportive of the family and as a spiritual community we’re keeping that family in prayer as well,” Joyner said. “It’s been tough the loss of QVC, but the loss of a loved one.”
In eastern North Carolina, December also serves as a reminder of multiple communities rattled by a major economic loss.
“People employed from a 15 county region all around even a few coming from Virginia all the way down to Edgecombe County to work,” Rocky Mount interim city manager Peter Varney said.
Following the fire, more than 2,000 people lost their jobs.
“QVC was a large contributor both in products and services to this community and a lot of jobs,” Joyner said.
The effect of the plant is still felt financially. Varney said Edgecombe County has seen the greatest impact, especially in the loss of sales tax revenue from the distribution center.
“It had a major impact on the economy and all of eastern North Carolina, especially for Edgecombe County,” Varney said.