UPDATE: Wednesday, July 18, 2012 6:15 p.m. by Jillian Risberg
The Best One Tire store in Vienna was struck by lightning Tuesday afternoon and sustained $100,000 worth of damage. It knocked out their electricity, which was partially restored Wednesday after a fire inspection.
The employee who was taken to the hospital was not struck but checked as a precaution. He is doing fine.
"The next thing you know we smelled all this smoke and opened the double doors and went down the ramp to where the cars are, we see a big ball of fire and called 9-1-1," says mechanic Sam Dotson.
The employees heard thunder and knew lightning hit close... but they just didn't know how close... it even shook the building.
"We all have a safety area where everyone goes at the end of the parking lot across from Speedway, to make sure everybody got out alright," Dotson says.
The lights went out and were back on thirty seconds later with the damage not immediately evident.
"It actually knocked one of the street lights out up here so it got us pretty good," Dotson says.
The guys scrambled to get all the vehicles out of the garage and to move them far out to the back of the parking lot.
"We were running pretty good once we got all the cars out of the way," Dotson says, "and made sure everybody was out of the building."
The lightening hit the back roof of the shop and Dotson didn't fear for anyone's safety as long as they all got out in time.
"We were very fortunate there was no serious injuries or injuries to any vehicles," he says. "If the tires would have caught on fire, which they didn't, they still probably be fighting this fire right now.