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An electrical shortage in a fluorescent light sparked a fire that caused extensive damage to Hoot's bar in Beaufort, firefighters said. ' The fire broke out at about 12:30 p.m. Sunday. The fire began in a storage room in the back
of the building, according to Burton Hill senior firefighter Kevin Kennedy. ' A ballast inside a fluorescent light caused the shortage, he said. ' "Sometimes they heat up, and they go bad inside those lights," Kennedy said. "It
had just been in there so long."' Four fire engines -- three from Burton and one from the city of Beaufort/Port Royal -- were on the scene, as was Beaufort County EMS. About 20 to 25 firefighters responded, Kennedy said.' Three
firefighters entered the building, located the fire and extinguished it, he said. ' "The guys made an aggressive interior attack and made a quick stop on the fire to hold it in place," Kennedy said. "We all did a good job, I
feel."' Firefighters also used thermal imaging cameras, which allow them to see behind walls to find hot spots without damaging property, Kennedy said. ' The extent of the fire's damage is not yet known, he said, but he added the
building "is in bad shape."' The property, located at 309 Savannah Highway, is owned by Rickey Hazlegrove. His wife, Mary, and his mother, Jody Hazlegrove, were on the scene Sunday, along with employee Richard Cearley. ' Mary
Hazlegrove said she and her husband have insurance that might cover the damage. ' Cearley, who had been at the bar earlier cleaning, called Hazlegrove when he found out about the fire, she said.