Tornado Sparks Fire in Laurens County, South Carolina

LAURENS, S.C. (AP) -- Some Laurens County residents forced to evacuate their homes because of tornado-sparked fire at distribution center here returned to their homes early Friday.

At least one tornado struck the county shortly after 7:30 p.m. Thursday, according to the National Weather Service.

The storm lifted part of the roof off the TNT Logistics distribution center, then slammed it back down on the building, damaging the electric system and sparking a fire, WYFF-TV in Greenville reported.

Between 75 and 100 people living within a half-mile of the building were evacuated because firefighters worried the blaze could burn tires stored in the building, authorities said.

The fire was under control early Friday and people were allowed to return home.

All the workers at the center were able to escape without serious injury, sheriff's Capt. Chris Hudson said.

Some minor damage to buildings was reported in other parts of the county.