CITRA, Fla. — The chatter at Turkey Creek’s July 15 Antiques Extravaganza wasn’t particularly over an item up for bid; it was much more a collective expression of amazement that the company had succeeded in holding the sale at all. On July 6, little more than a week prior to the auction, a lightning strike caused the barn that housed the sale inventory to go up in smoke.
At around 10:45 p.m. on the day of the fire, Turkey Creek Auctions’ president and auctioneer, David Glynn, heard what he described as “a huge explosion-type sound.” After the strange noise, Glynn looked outside to see if everything was all right. That is when he observed that the upstairs lights in the barn were no longer on.
“I went to check the fuse box,” Glynn said, “and that’s when I noticed the ceiling was on fire.” After scrambling to find the cat, Glynn then tried calling the fire department – a feat that proved difficult. “None of the phones were working because they were all wireless,” Glynn said, “finally, I was able to find my cell phone in the dark.”
“Once they got here, the fire department was great,” Glynn said. “They took the paintings off the walls and moved them to another area, not to mention they moved a giant antique china closet filled with glass and china – without a single item being harmed. I’m thinking about hiring them for future auctions!”
After taking time to move paintings and other items out of the barn, the firefighters threw tarps over items that couldn’t be moved, to minimize water damage from their hoses. Thanks to their professionalism, the only true losses were the antique Oriental rugs that had lined the barn. Otherwise, Glynn said, “the paintings didn’t blister,” and the rest of the 600 lots suffered only minor smoke damage – “nothing that couldn’t be cleaned up.”
Non-auction items lost by the late-night lightning strike included the company’s main computer, the credit card machines, two air conditioners, the phone system and the many personal belongings Glynn kept in his personal apartment.
“Twenty gallons of Febreze later, the smoke smell cleared out,” Glynn said, assuring one and all that “the show (would) go on.” As of press time, sales figures from the July 15 sale were not yet available; however Turkey Creek’s staff was able to confirm that the cat had been located and was doing fine.
For more information about future Turkey Creek Auctions, call 800-648-7523 or log on to the company’s Web site at www.antiqueauctionsfl.com.