MANCHESTER, Ky. (WYMT) - Update: 5-22-14 4:00 p.m.
Firefighters and a firewall saved one Manchester business, but a lightning strike is believed to have destroyed another.
Fire crews began fighting a fire just after ten at CBS Rental Center.
"Lightning had struck the transformer next to a pole," said Chris Fultz, Manchester police chief and lieutenant with the Manchester Fire Department.
Several propane tanks were inside CBS Rental center.
"The one propane tank, the 100 gallon that was next to the building, was leaking off and we just provided cover with it with water," Fultz said.
A larger propane tank was in front of the building, and firefighters kept it from burning.
While the rental center was destroyed, the firewall kept the hardware store that shares a wall with the rental center from receiving damage.
"Pretty much the lumber side, the hardware store is intact and all right," said Cheyenne Metcalf, manager of CBS Rental Center. "A little bit of minor damage on stuff on the outside and right adjacent to the firewall."
Update: 5-22-14 4:00 a.m.
Crews spent hours at Clay Building Supply in Manchester fighting a massive fire that nearly destroyed the building.
Joshua Foust lives in an apartment across the street and saw the flames just minutes after the fire started.
“The flames were shooting up over the building. I mean it was massive, just shooting up from it,” Foust said.
Many believe lightning caught a large propane tank on fire in front of the lumber company and hardware store and quickly spread to the building around 11:00 Wednesday night.
“The large [propane tank] is still holding 3,400 gallons of propane and there’s some small tanks beside it that are empty,” Manchester Police Officer Jeff Collett.
And that’s what made this fire so dangerous not just for crews, but also people like Foust who live just feet away.
“We were making sure to kind of stay back, but at the same time just be aware of what’s going on in case we needed to leave,” Foust added.
Responders from 10 different agencies throughout Clay County and neighboring Laurel County helped put out the fire that destroyed the rental part of the building. Crews believe the hardware side of the building is okay.
No injuries were reported.
On its website, the family-owned business says it’s been running for 30 years and has another location in London.
Two other fires were also reported Wednesday night in Clay County. One was a home in Burning Springs. Another was an outbuilding on Big Hill.
We’re told no injuries were reported from those fires either.
Update: 5-22-14 12:30 a.m.
Multiple crews are on the scene of a fire in Clay County.
A large propane tank next to CBS caught fire first. Firefighters got that fire out, but fire spread to the building itself.
That is what crews are working on now.
We are still trying to gather information about the other fires.
5-21-14 11:30 p.m.
We are following breaking news out of Clay County.
Dispatchers tell Mountain News they are working several fires across the county right now.
The picture attached the article is from one of the fires is just in to our newsroom from viewer Bret Fox.
One viewer sent us a video of a fire at Clay Building Supply on the Hal Rogers Parkway in Manchester.
We have a crew heading to the scene and will have the latest as it becomes available.