A fire broke out Monday morning at the New Burley Warehouse, located on Bowling Green Road, directly behind Colonial Inn Restaurant. The Russellville Fire Department responded to the blaze, which was confirmed to be started by a lightning strike. Helping the city department was the Russellville and Auburn Rural Fire Departments.
Chief Billy Poole of the Russellville City Fire Department said they located where the lightning had penetrated the roof.
It took firefighters approximately an hour to put out the blaze. Poole said at first there was a lot of fire, but it didn’t take long before firefighters had it under control.
There was no tobacco inside the structure, but there was a tow motor and a boat. According to Poole not much damage occurred.
Firefighters acted quickly trying to put out the fire due to the warehouse’s location beside a church and restaurant.
Smoke could be seen bellowing from the far back side of the structure, as well as escaping from portions of the front and rolling through parts of town. Firefighters went inside the burning structure to tackle the fire, as well as being placed on top of the warehouse. They were also spraying inside an open door in the back left hand side.
Poole said fires can start easily by a lightning strike, especially if there is a lot of wood in a structure like the warehouse. He said he and his firefighters were just talking about the last fire they had to put out two years ago on Rene Street when the alarm sounded this morning.
“Lightning is so hot and with a wooden roof like the one on the warehouse, it will catch them on fire easy,” said Poole.
Poole was proud of all the firefighters. He said they did an excellent job at containing the fire and he was very impressed. “Usually a warehouse like that one is gone,” said Poole.