Archive for Thursday, May 3, 2007

Apparent lightning strike sparks business fire

May 3, 2007

Firefighters from the Eudora Township Fire Department responded Tuesday evening to a structure fire in rural Eudora.

The fire caused an estimated $100,000 in damage to Richardson Jumpstarters ---- a machinery business located in a barn behind a house at 2138 N. 1000 Road. There were no injuries.

Eudora Township Fire Chief Barry Larson said the probable cause of the fire was a lightning strike, he said.

Richardson Jumpstarters owner Dwane Richardson said his company would survive despite the blaze.

"But it's a blow," he said.

A neighbor reported the fire after driving down Douglas County Road 458, Richardson said.

Township firefighters were first dispatched to the scene at about 8:30 p.m.

After knocking down a barn door, firefighters were able to extinguish the initial flames, Larson said.

"We had a quick knock-down," Larson said.

Following the initial attack, firefighters continued to monitor the wood structure for hotspots or high temperature areas that might burst back into flames, Larson said.

It appears the damage could have been much worse, Richardson Jumpstarters vice president John Fox said.

"My first thought of it was like 'It's all gone,'" Fox said.

The fire left the structure intact and might have spared the business' inventory, Larson said.

The company makes devices that provide quick jumpstarts to heavy equipment, trucks and military vehicles.

Firefighters from the Eudora City Fire Department and the Wakarusa Township Fire Department aided the Eudora Township.

The Douglas County Sheriff's office, and an ambulance from Lawrence-Douglas County Fire Medical also responded.

Larson praised the efforts of those who responded.

"It's good to know we can save a structure," Larson said.

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