Lightning damages storage building full of oxygen - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

Lightning damages storage building full of oxygen

 

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - Jonesboro fire crews were called to the scene of a fire at a business on East Matthews Avenue Monday afternoon as a severe thunderstorm rolled across Region 8.

Around 2 p.m. Monday, lightning struck the Medical Necessities building and it's adjacent storage building. At first, employees at Medical Necessities thought it only affected their phone and Internet lines until they went outside.

"But when we walked out the back door we saw what we refer to as our warehouse on fire," chief operations officer at Medical Necessities, Skip Steward said.

He told Region 8 News that when they called the fire department, they had to warn them of the possible dangers inside the building.

"We were notified en route that there was a large amount of oxygen bottles but the fire never reached the oxygen bottles," Brett Winstead with the Jonesboro Fire Department said.

Winstead told Region 8 News that if the fire had reached those oxygen bottles, the outcome could've been a lot worse. However, his crews were able to knock down the fire quickly.

"It was pretty intense in the attic area but it never got below the ceiling," Winstead said. "By the time we got on the scene I'd say within about 20 minutes we had the fire knocked down."

However, around 4:40 p.m., fire crews were called back to the scene after employees with Medical Necessities noticed heavy smoke coming from inside the building. Fire crews told employees that if they'd not been called back out there, that hot spot could've caught the building on fire again.

Steward told Region 8 News that though there were two employees in the storage area when the building caught fire, no one was injured and none of the equipment inside was damaged.

Steward said that it will be business as usual on Tuesday and no customers with Medical Necessities will be inconvenienced in any way.

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