Fire department battles blaze caused by lightning

By Brandi Hodges - bio | email

WYNNE, AR (KAIT) - In the middle of a thunderstorm, Wynne Fire Fighters worked to put out a blaze they say was caused by the weather.

"Apparently we had some sort of lightning strike.  We had power run in on the system and caused a fire in the ceiling," said Captain Gerald Britton.

Captain Britton said after the call came in and they realized it was an active fire, several trucks responded to the Subway restaurant even as the storm raged on around them.

"We were in a tornado warning when this took place and we had severe weather spotters out across the county," said Britton.

When the fire was out they found where they believe the fire started.

"Indicating from that arc right here on the bottom of the corner here in the northwest corner of the building there was a receptacle.  It looks like either lightning went to ground there or struck there and went through the electrical system of the building," said Britton.

The main damage is in the dining area, but the entire building has smoke damage.

"From what we can look at now with limited lighting inside, we have in the neighborhood of 35 to40% damage in the dining area," said Britton.

While it's a different source of fire for a restaurant, Britton said it's not uncommon.

"We see this from time to time when we have storms like these.  We have alarms that go off, house fires and commercial buildings such as this one," said Britton.

It's unclear when Subway may reopen.

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