MADISON — A hardware store warehouse hit by a lumber fire Thursday night reopened the next morning, partially with the help of competing businesses which came forth with offers of assistance.

“We’ve had some of our competitors offer us material, offer us vehicles, offer us labor,” said store owner Brent Burger.

The cause of a fire that destroyed a lumber storage building at the Main Street store, Campbell’s True Value Building Supply, was a faulty engine block heater in a flatbed truck, Burger said Friday.

“The fire marshals were here and did their inspection,” Burger said. “They were complimentary of all the processes we had in place. We had surveillance and security so we could see what happened. We could see the truck had been parked properly and got plugged in properly. All that is good news. All our employees here were doing everything right.”

The fire was first reported at around 5:15 p.m. Thursday as a vehicle fire by employees who were closing the lumber yard for the day. Five area fire departments responded to the blaze, which spread from the vehicle and ended up destroying a lumber storage building containing equipment and kiln dried wood, said Burger.

The destroyed building is one of several at the large lumber yard, and firefighters were able to prevent the fire from spreading to the building supply store and other parts of the lumber yard, Burger said.

On Friday, Campbell’s was open for business as usual. The wood that was lost represented about 20 percent of their inventory of kiln dried wood.

Burger said he estimates the damages at around $300,000 so far, but said the Madison community — and competing stores — have reached out to Campbell’s to help the company recover.

“It’s really been fantastic that people are calling and saying, ‘You do so much for the community. We want to help you,'” said Burger. “We don’t do things for the community to get paid back, but it’s nice that people recognize this is a team sport, and just because you’re competitors doesn’t mean you shouldn’t help each other.”

Rachel Ohm — 612-2368

[email protected]

Twitter: @rachel_ohm


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