Lightning hits Hainje’s

Published 8:37 am Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Customers and employees at Hainje’s Home Furnishings got quite a scare Friday afternoon, when lightning struck the building.

Terry Kelly, store manager for the business at 312 N. Main St., said that he was driving back to the store when he got a call shortly after 4 p.m. Friday.

“I was on my way back after making a delivery and got a call that lightning had hit the store,” Kelly said. “It appears as if it came in around some of the metal I-beams, and actually busted away some of the wood posts. It blew out about five to six circuit breakers from the box.”

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Hainje’s was closed Saturday but reopened Monday, although Kelly took extra precautions. He tried to limit the amount of power used, and also shut down everything overnight.

“We were told that any thunderstorm or heavy rumble, like from a train, could cause the breakers to come out of the box again,” he said.

The store will be closed this Thursday and Friday, in order for re-wiring work to be completed. Kelly said he is hopeful that the business will be open again Saturday morning, but it may not be ready until Monday, July 27. Updates on the store’s status will be posted to the company’s Facebook page.

Kelly said that he was happy the damage was minor and nobody was seriously hurt.

“Kathy Byrd, one of my salespeople, was sitting at her computer when it happened and she said she saw the sparks,” Kelly said. “The power went off right away, but most of the systems came right back on.”

Kelly appreciated the quick response of Ronald Peebles and the Atmore Fire Department. AFD personnel inspected the damage and made sure that there were no fires hidden in the roofs or walls, before leaving Friday.

“We just really thank the fire department for making sure everyone was safe and the building was safe,” he said.