Forty-one years ago this week, Marion and McDowell County were still reeling from the catastrophic fire that completely destroyed the Otis L. Broyhill Furniture Plant on Jan. 14, 1976. This enormous inferno is widely considered to be one of the biggest fires in McDowell County history, second only to the great Marion fire of 1894. Forty firefighters from all over McDowell County responded to the massive blaze and departments from surrounding counties provided mutual aid. The fire, which was ignited by a heating coil, left the furniture plant building a smoldering ruin and almost 400 workers out of a job. No serious injuries were reported although several firefighters were overcome by the enormous amount of smoke.