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Lightning sparks fire at Valley business

PHOENIX — Lightning sparked a fire at a Phoenix business early Thursday morning, causing an estimated $100,000 in damage.

A bolt hit the Republic Monetary Exchange building near 40th Street and Camelback Road around 12:45 a.m., igniting a fire on the second story and roof.

“When I got the call, my heart started racing and I got out of bed real quick,” CEO Jim Clark said. “I got over here only to find the place filled with firefighters and fire trucks. I thought: ‘this thing is going to go up in smoke.’ ”

Firefighters were able to contain the blaze to the second floor but the water damage is extensive.

“Our sales floor is under about a half-inch of water,” Clark said. “We lost a few computers but most of our expensive areas — our vault and (computer) servers — were spared.”

The Exchange will be closed Thursday, Clark said.