UPDATE: Lightning strike caused fire at Merrill business

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MERRILL, Wis. (WSAW)-- A lightning strike is to blame for a fire that damaged a building at the Golden Hawk Canoe Company on Valley Street in Merrill.

According to the Merrill Fire Department the building or a nearby pole was hit by lightning just after 3:45 p.m. Thursday.

There was heavy smoke and flames on the northwest corner of the building when firefighters arrived.

The building had some damage but Merrill Fire Chief Josh Klug said the outcome could have been much worse if not for quick action by firefighters.