Lightning strike blamed for fire at Hattiesburg business

Published 7:52 am Monday, September 24, 2007

HATTIESBURG, Miss. (AP) — An Oak Grove business that caught on fire Sunday afternoon was set ablaze by a lightning strike, officials said.

The 2,200 square-foot brick cabinet shop, Kelly Painting, burned quickly after a lightning strike started a fire in the attic, said James Smith, Lamar County fire investigator.

“It was an open-span building, so it burned quickly,” Smith said.

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The Oak Grove Fire Department responded to the fire around 2:30 p.m., said Fire Chief Patrick Kelly, who is not related to the business’s owner David Kelly.

“It was fully ablaze when we were called,” the chief said.

A passer-by saw the smoke and made the 911 call, he said.

David Kelly said a neighbor called to tell him the shop was on fire. He saw all the smoke from a distance and knew his business would be destroyed.

It took 25 firefighters in all to bring the blaze under control, which took about 45 minutes, Patrick Kelly said in a article.