MADISON — A hardware store hit by a lumber fire Thursday night reopened the next morning, partially with the help of competing businesses which came forward 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 the fire that destroyed a lumber storage building at Campbell’s True Value Building Supply on Main Street 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 around 5:15 p.m. Thursday as a vehicle fire by employees who were closing the lumber yard for the day. Five fire departments responded to the blaze, which spread from the vehicle and destroyed a lumber storage building containing equipment and kiln dried wood, Burger said.

Firefighters prevented the fire from spreading to the building supply store and other parts of the large 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 damage at $300,000, but said the Madison community has 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,'” Burger said. “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 can be contacted at 612-2368, or at:

[email protected]

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