Fire burns St. George family business to the ground

Fire burns downtown St. George family business to the ground (Photo: D.J. Bolerjack / KUTV)

(KUTV) Smoke blanketed the St. George, Utah, valley Wednesday night as a fire engulfed the former location of a well-known family business downtown -- Wilkinson's Lighting and Appliances.

Kay Wilkinson started the lighting business in 1945. At first it was the family’s home and business all rolled into one, but as the family grew bigger, so did the business. The youngest of Kay Wilkinson’s sons, Scott Wilkinson, now owns the business and reminisced about his childhood there.

“That’s where I grew up. was one-years-old when we moved into that house. It was a lot smaller, then over the years it just kept getting added on. I think there was like three or four additions and eventually it became Wilkinson's House and Lights Store," Scott Wilkinson said.

St. George Fire Chief, Robert Stoker, said residents in the area smelled smoke and called 911 around 10 p.m. Wednesday night.

Firefighters quickly took out the large flames and took control of the situation. The power company came out to restore power that was lost to a few homes surrounding the burning building.

"We had reports from some of the witnesses there were fireworks going off in the area just before the fire, we're looking into that also," Stoker said.

He said they aren't sure how this fire started or where but they have some theories.

“The owners of the building stated that they have had some trouble with people in there, whether it's homeless or kids,” Stoker said. Another theory he has involves reports of fireworks.

Scott Wilkinson watched as the building that means so much to him, burned to the ground Wednesday night and Thursday morning.

Hear from him tonight on KUTV 2 News at 6 p.m.

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