RIVERSIDE - Lightning caused $15,000 worth of damage to the Riverside Laundromat and Tanning Salon following today's late afternoon storm.
Two men were inside the building when the back corner of its tin roof was struck at around 5:45 p.m. The lighting traveled through the metal roof and into the wood beams underneath, according to Nick Fowler, deputy chief of Southside Fire Department.
Ronald Kline, one of the two customers in the building, said he heard a big bang and then smoke began filling the room.
The other customer, Ken Hettinger, placed a call to 911 before both he and Kline fled the laundromat. Fowler did not have addresses for either man.
Firefighters from Southside Fire Department, Danville Fire Department, East End Fire Department and Elysburg Fire Department responded to the scene. Smoke was visible from the roof of the building. After about 30 minutes of work, the firefighters had the fire under control.
Firefighters cut out the part of the roof where the fire was located and examined the other layers of the roof to search for any lingering flames. Provided none were found, the business should be open tomorrow, said Fowler.
Owner Jay Hummer is insured against fire, said Fowler.
Steffon Nash, a cook at neighboring Heeter’s Drive-In, reported seeing a big flash before the fire started. “It sounded like a popping noise,” he said, and afterward somebody ran into Heeter’s and announced there was a fire.
Danville Ambulance also responded to the scene.
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