Fire breaks out at furniture warehouse in St. Stephen

Owner John Clarke

ST. STEPHEN, S.C. (WCIV) -- The warehouse of a furniture store in business since 1972 caught on fire Thursday morning, said John Clarke, the store's owner.Clarke is the owner of Oliver-Clarke Furniture Store in St. Stephen.He said he kept an old refrigerator plugged up in the warehouse, where he stored furniture."Evidently we had a short in it somewhere," Clarke said. "And it caught everything on fire."Clarke said he was notified of the fire at about 8:30 a.m. "I was shocked. I had a fellow walk in and said, 'Mr. Clarke, your building is on fire,'" he said.He said five departments responded to the scene and the first arrived within five minutes.The damage is estimated at $125,000. Clarke said the main building that houses his furniture store was not damaged and is still open to customers.