May 21, 2009

Lightning Strike Blamed For Blaze at Arbela Four-Corners

Just over 24 hours after tornadoes threatened Scotland County, Mother Nature was back at it again. Severe thunderstorms started late Thursday evening May 14th and continued on into the following morning.

A lightning strike Friday morning is being blamed for a blaze that destroyed the Arbela 4-Corners tavern.

A motorist stopped at Gas & More in Memphis at 4:33 a.m. and reported passing the fire scene at the intersection of Highway 15 and Route H, seven miles east of Memphis. The blaze was initially reported as a house fire in Arbela, prompting the Scotland County Fire Department to be dispatched to the scene.

At 4:39 a.m. a neighbor of the business called in the fire at the Arbela 4-Corners.

The fire department arrived at the scene to find a rear addition to the two-story masonry structure already nearly totally consumed by the fire. The blaze had spread into the upper floor of the main building and ultimately did extensive damage to the interior of the structure before being extinguished.

The Scotland County Fire Department battled the blaze until the Gorin Fire Department was dispatched to the scene.

Approximately 20 volunteer firemen from the Scotland County department responded to the emergency call with five fire trucks remaining on the scene for two hours. The Gorin Department responded to the call with more than a dozen firemen and several additional fire trucks.

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