AUTAUGAVILLE, AL (WSFA) - At around 7 p.m. Saturday, right before the storms rolled in, a building in Autaugaville burst into flames, leading many to believe that the fire was caused by a lightning strike. Now, officials are saying that's most likely not what caused the fire at the T Mart grocery store.
"We're not sure at this point. It's not uncommon in the county," said Autauga County EMA Director Ernie Baggett. "We usually have somewhere between four or five lightning strike fires in the county throughout the year and a few more inside the city, so it's not an uncommon thing, it does happen."
However, Baggett said during the time of Saturday's fire, the storms hadn't made their way into the county, putting water on some speculation Mother Nature may have been to blame.
"During that period of time we weren't getting a lot of cloud to ground lightning," Baggett said, adding that lightning is an easy conclusion to come to. While he doesn't know what caused the fire, Baggett does know that it could've been a lot worse.
"It could've been a lot worse had it not have been for the quick thinking of the fire departments and their actions and their abilities. It could've turned out a whole lot worse than it did. They saved the day," Baggett said.
On top of that, the grocery store is right next to a gas station and if the gas station would've caught on fire, well it would be a different story.
"There's a large propane tank right behind the building, so they were concerned with it. The initial trucks on scene and the initial fire departments were really more focused on keeping that tank cooled down to keep any issues from it," Baggett explained.
The cause of the fire is still unclear and the case remains under investigation.