A fire Saturday night destroyed a Halifax County garage at 1133 Newton Farm Road, stocked with vintage cars and other equipment.
“It’s all gone,” owner Raymond Butler said. “Fifty-five years shot down. “
Chris Hudson, chief of the Cluster Springs Volunteer Fire Department, estimated the garage and its contents a “total loss”, estimating the damage caused by the blaze at $ 800,000. He said a lightning strike was determined to be the cause of the blaze.
“We had extreme lightning and thunderstorms last night. Lightning was falling and exploding. We believe lightning struck the center of the store, ”Butler explained. “I went there and the top of the store was completely engulfed in flames.”
At that point, Butler said he knew it was too dangerous to go into the garage and try to save his many vintage cars, bikes, golf carts and other collectibles.
The Cluster Springs Volunteer Fire Department arrived at the scene at 11:30 p.m. with three trucks and remained at the scene until 5 a.m.
South Boston Fire Department, which responded with two trucks, Virgilina Volunteer Fire Department, which responded with a truck, Clover Volunteer Fire Department, which responded with a truck, the service fire department, which responded with a truck, the Triple Springs Volunteer Fire Department of Person County, NC, responding with a truck, the Clarksville Fire Department, responding with three trucks , the Turbeville Volunteer Fire Department, responding with two trucks, the Midway Volunteer Fire Department, responding with two trucks, the Liberty Volunteer Fire Department, responding with a truck, and the Volunteer Fire Department of North Halifax, intervening with labor. Hudson said firefighters used 50,000 gallons of water to put out the flames.
“We had good support from the fire department,” commented Butler.
Two propane tanks adjacent to the house posed a hazard due to the fire, and at one point the area had to be evacuated. A technician from the Southern States working on the propane tanks was injured and had to be rushed to a medical center for treatment, Butler said.
A long list of vintage cars and other vehicles were burned in the blaze. Vehicles include a 1958 Chevrolet pickup truck purchased new in the year of its debut, a 1952 Studebaker and Chevrolet pickup truck, and a 1969 Camaro and 1997 Camaro, all owned by his wife Terry, a 1955 Chevrolet two-door sedan, a 1956 Chevrolet sedan. , a 1956 Sedan Delivery, a 1966 El Camino, a 1966 Biscayne Sleeper, a 1970 Chevrolet C-10 pickup truck, a 1971 first-year Harley-Davidson Superline motorcycle and a limited-edition 2005 Chevrolet SSR truck, Butler shared.
At this point, Butler said he would not try to replace all of the cars that were burned in the fire, and some of the items had sentimental value and are irreplaceable. Despite such a significant loss, Butler had a positive outlook the day after the fire, citing his faith as the source of his optimistic outlook.
“God has blessed us in the past and it is his will. He has a plan for us involved in this one way or another, ”Butler said.