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Mechanical failure or lightning caused Southern States fire

August 04, 2008|By DAVE McMILLION

RANSON, W.Va. - A fire Saturday morning at the Southern States store along Mildred Street was either due to a mechanical failure or lightning.

That was the conclusion after Patrick Barker of the state Fire Marshal's office investigated the scene Monday, said Ed Smith, chief of Independent Fire Co.

Parker has not completed a final report on the fire's cause but "more and more" it appears the fire was started by lightning, Smith said.

Smith said previously that it appeared lightning struck an electrical panel box in back of the store.

The 4:20 a.m. fire caused about $500,000 in damage to the store's showroom and other areas and forced the store to move its retail operations into a temporary location in a warehouse.

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