Electrical Surge Caused West Memphis Newspaper Fire

AUGUST 23, 2006 - Posted at 7:39 a.m. CDT

WEST MEMPHIS, AR - West Memphis fire officials say a fire that destroyed the offices of the Evening Times newspaper was caused by an electrical surge.  The August 13 fire destroyed the one-story, concrete block-and-brick building.  It also took with it the printing press, computer system and all advertising and news files.  No one was injured in the blaze.

Investigators initially suspected that lightning struck an air conditioning unit on top of the building.  They've since ruled that out, and are trying to determine what caused the surge.  The blaze caused about $5 million to $7 million damage.  The newspaper is continuing to operate out of a building next to its former office building and printing the paper at a shop in Tennessee.  The Evening Times staff worked from an office in Marion after the blaze and never stopped publishing.

(Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)