“They are fairly certain that lightning struck the building at the height of that severe storm that passed through here,” said Columbia-Martinez Fire Rescue spokeswoman Honey Shore.
A passerby called in the fire at Regions Bank located on the corner of Washington and Ronald Reagan roads, Ms. Shore said.
The building’s attic was slightly damaged, but the bank itself wasn’t, said Ms. Shore, adding that everybody in the building was evacuated.
Emergency officials also said the storm caused power outages, including traffic signals, along Belair Road from Jimmy Dyess Parkway to Oakley Pirkle Road.
Columbia County sheriff’s deputies are directing traffic and Georgia Power has been notified, according to an e-mail from Pam Tucker, the county’s emergency management director.