Fireworks explode above burning shopping center

Fireworks explode above burning shopping center

BATESVILLE, MS (WMC) - Batesville residents got a strange fireworks show late Sunday night.

According to the Batesville Police Department, three stores inside a shopping center caught fire at approximately 10 p.m. The shopping center had a liquor store, a tobacco and beer store, and a laundromat.

Fire officials said the fire started in the laundromat and moved through the other stores.

Flames shot from the roof of the shopping center, but not as high as the explosive contents inside a storage unit of one of the stores.

Police said fireworks were inside a storage unit behind the beer and tobacco store. They only sell fireworks during the holidays.

The fire triggered those fireworks to explode, lighting up the sky over Batesville.

"It was crazy," Justin Hall, Batesville resident, said. "I have never seen anything like that in Batesville."

The fireworks forced firefighters to wait until it was safe to continue putting the fire out. The fire chief said that there were fortunately not many fireworks, so it only stalled them a few minutes.

No one was injured in the fire, but the store owner said there is so much damage in all four buildings, there is no way to save them. He said he is just happy that the stores were closed when the fire started and that no one was hurt.

"It looked like a fourth of July show," Jennifer Heafner, Batesville resident, said. "There were all fireworks coming out of the top of the building."

The laundromat suffered extensive damage. Windows were blown out, the ceiling is falling down and the entire store is destroyed. The owner said the other stores were also destroyed.

"It's a good business and the business owners do a good job of maintaining, it so hopefully they can rebuild and provide the service to our community," Heafner said.

The sale of fireworks is legal in Mississippi. Investigators are still working to determine where the fire started and what sparked it.

Meanwhile, the owner said he plans to rebuild and open up again in the future.

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