Update: Terminix Fire Sparked By Lightning
Flames cause extensive damage at a Mitchell County exterminator business after a fire is sparked by a lightning strike.
It started around 8 a.m. Wednesday morning at the Terminix building near Spruce Pine.
Today at noon, firefighters say they have the fire under control. They've been working all morning, continuously dumping water on the flames.
Most of the work's being done from the bucket of a ladder truck, with one firefighter dousing the roof that is collapsed.
Officials say the fire was started by lightning hitting a transformer on a pole next to the building and sending that jolt down a wire and into multiple electrical junctions. That meant several fires burning up through two roofs, one of which was wooden on top and old tar one underneath.
In a statement, Terminix Services, Inc., says there was a limited amount of pest control materials stored on site and they have been working with local authorities throughout the morning to ensure the situation is stabilized.
Officials say there were some containers of pesticides stored inside the building. Some aerosol cans exploded and burned and others were far enough away from the flames to not be damaged.
Officials say the first employee arriving for work saw smoke and called 911. No injuries were reported.
The fire tied-up traffic for much of the day. There was a detour around a stretch of Highway 19E for several hours.