Lightning Sparks Fire, Destroys Georgia Factory

The roof was engulfed by the time firefighters got to the scene.


ST. MARYS, Ga. --

Firefighters said a lightning strike sparked a fire that destroyed a cabinet factory in St. Marys, Ga., Tuesday evening.

Firefighters said the entire roof of the Coastal Cabinets plant was in flames by the time the first units reached the scene.

"We had a nice storm come in, lightning strike," said Assistant Chief Tom Lackner, of the St. Marys Fire Department. Lightning hit the building and caught it on fire.

Fire investigators said three to four workers were in the building and all got out safely when they heard the lightning strike.

"I'm glad nobody was hurt," said Wendy Jones, whose parents owned the cabinet company for years before they sold it recently. "I can't believe (it burned to the ground)."

Video: Onlookers See Smoke For MIles

Investigators said the sawdust from the cabinets fed the flames.

Onlookers said the flames and smoke could be seen for miles.

"We saw a huge column of smoke right in the middle of the thunderstorm that was going on," said Bob Caldwell, who drove by the fire.

Another building nearby also burned down.

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