Photo courtesy of Columbus Fire Department.

Photo courtesy of Columbus Fire Department.

A suspected lightning strike led to the evacuation of the Bed Bath and Beyond store in Columbus yesterday afternoon.

Columbus firefighters were called to the store on National Road at about 1:05 p.m. Thursday on a report of the smell of smoke in the building. By the time firefighters arrived, the store staff of five employees and about 10 customers were being evacuated. Managers told firefighters that they believed the building had been hit by lightning.

Capt. Mike Wilson says firefighters investigated and discovered that the smell of smoke was strongest closest to the entrance and store sensors were detecting a problem in the air conditioning system.

Firefighters went to the roof where they found discoloration on the breaker box. They unhooked the unit and store managers said they would be getting the damaged air conditioning unit repaired.