Owner of burned business says video appears to show lightning strike

Cause of Buckner fire still in question

BUCKNER, Ky. (WAVE) - We've had downpours and pop-up storms this week, but could that nasty weather be behind a huge fire that destroyed several Oldham county businesses?

It’s a question firefighters are considering after that early-morning fire Tuesday.

It happened at 4700 Old Lagrange Road.

Business owners told WAVE 3 News they got their first look at security cameras Wednesday morning and saw what looked like lightning before the fire broke out. A burned-out building left Sterling Winn with just his memories now.

“I’ve spent my entire childhood here, and to look back at it, words really can’t explain it,” he said.

His family’s Wild West Motors Company shared the front property with Alvey’s Heating and Air Conditioning, Gregor’s Garage and In-Joy Solaria Glass and Metal.

“We’re all just small businesses,” said Winn’s father, Jim, who also owns the company.

The back building where they produce high-end custom motorcycles is still standing, but that’s about all that’s left, along with its security cameras. Sterling Winn said,

“We brought the camera system from the shop up to the house,” Sterling Winn said. “We found right around 12:05 in the morning, we think the lightning strike.”

Right after finding the video Wednesday morning, the Winns turned it over to South Oldham Fire investigators, one of five departments that responded to the fire.

They said cameras continued to roll, showing smoke around 1:30 a.m. and turning into flames around 3 a.m. when they lost power.

Around 4 a.m. Tuesday, a train passed by and people woke up and called 911. The family is confident firefighters will determine if lightning is the cause, but right now, that’s not their biggest concern.

“There’s no fire hydrants on this road and the fire department was just killing themselves trying to get enough water here to put this fire out,” Jim Winn said.

Winn, who lives next door, said other neighbors and businesses on the road should be concerned because the hydrant closest to them is a couple of streets away.

South Oldham Fire Chief Edward Turner agreed that area of the county badly needs hydrants, but he said the fire was so involved that by the time they got there, he’s not sure it would have made much of a difference. They hope to figure out the cause soon.

Firefighters have returned security videos to the owners of Wild West Motors that show the hours before several Oldham County businesses caught fire.

The family told WAVE 3 News the lightning they saw on the video is now believed to be the cause, and it’s been confirmed by the South Oldham Fire Chief.

Videos obtained by WAVE 3 News on Thursday show several lightning strikes followed by smoke and later flames that destroyed the businesses early Tuesday morning.

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