fire

Firefighters battle a cabinet shop that burned on Thursday night in Smithfield.

Police evacuated nearby apartment buildings Thursday night as firefighters worked frantically on a fire burning in a cabinet shop at about 700 North and Main Street in Smithfield.

The structure was reportedly fully engulfed when firefighters arrived on scene shortly after 9:30 p.m. At least five departments, including Smithfield, North Logan, Logan, Newton and Clarkston, were seen at the site.

While the blaze at Premier Cabinets was located on the east side of the highway, firefighters on scene asked for the full closure of U.S. 91 while they battled the fire.

The cabinet was closed at the time of the fire so reportedly no one was inside the building.

At least one of the townhouses directly south of the fire was evacuated as a precaution. Several yards of the vinyl fencing between the cabinet shop and the townhouses had melted enough for the slats to bend to the ground.

Maddie Hester, one of the residents who evacuated into temperatures around 10 degrees, stood outside with dozens of others who had come to watch the blaze. Holding a black pet rabbit in her arms, she said she was worried about her home.

“What are the odds that this happens, you know?” Hester said. “This is crazy. You always hear about this stuff on the news, but you never think that, hey, next door’s going to go up in flames.”

Aside from cracked and broken windows, there appeared to be little structural damage to the townhouses.

By about 11 p.m., flames had been knocked down but firefighters were still working, spraying down the smoking remains.

Premiere Cabinets owners Ryan and Richelle Coats watched from the edge of the property.

“We’re about 100 percent sure there was nobody in there,” Ryan Coats said.

Coats said the shop, about 7,000 square feet, contained hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of new equipment.

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Amy Macavinta is the crime reporter for The Herald Journal. She can be reached at amacavinta@hjnews.com.