SUGARCREEK, Ohio — The massive fire that destroyed a portion of the cherished Walnut Creek Amish Flea Market earlier this month was caused by a lightning strike the night before, the Ohio Fire Marshal confirmed.
Fire Chief Kevin Miller, of the Sugarcreek Fire Department, says 20 fire departments from five different counties responded before 4 a.m. on Aug. 21 to a massive 4-alarm fire at Walnut Creek Amish Flea Market, 1900 OH-39, in Sugarcreek.
The middle portion of the 50,000-square-foot building was completely destroyed, Miller said. Heavy smoke caused damage to other parts of the building.
The building is home to hundreds of vendors selling home goods, clothing, and farm supplies, among many other items.
This isn't the first time a fire destroyed the flea market, Miller says. There was a Walnut Creek Flea Market on the other side of Sugarcreek that burned down in 2000. Miller says it moved to SR 39 under a different name.
The Walnut Creek Flea Market is a major tourist attraction in the community. Miller calls this fire a "tremendous loss."
"For a lot of vendors it’s their livelihood," Miller said.