Barn burns to ground

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By Lisa King

A barn was destroyed by fire Tuesday night, apparently due to a lightning strike, according to Shelby County Fire Chief Bobby Cowherd.

The barn, located at 4185 Burks Branch Road, caught fire early Tuesday evening. Firefighters received the call of a structure fire at 6:04 p.m. Cowherd said fire crews were unable to save the barn, which was fully involved with fire and had collapsed before crews arrived.

Firefighters had the fire under control within 45 minutes and remained on the scene for an extensive overhaul, including removal of the metal roof in order to reach all of the hot spots.

Cowherd said that the 300-square foot tobacco barn housed several pieces of farm equipment that were destroyed in the fire, but that the barn contained no livestock.

He added that a severe thunderstorm was raging at the time of the fire and that a lightning strike was most probably the cause of the blaze.

According to Cowherd, Larry Hawkins, a tenant who lives on the property, said he was watching television when he heard a loud noise nearby. His television set went off and when he went to look out the window, he saw the barn burning.

None of the 32 firefighters who responded to the blaze was injured.