Lightning strike starts Sunday fire

Jul. 23, 2013 @ 05:07 PM

At 9:39 p.m. Sunday, members of the Unionville and Monroe fire departments responded to 3216 Secrest Short Cut Road in reference to a fire started by a lightning strike.

With the exception of a family’s dog, no one was home when the fire started.

The fire took about 45 minutes to get under control and caused around $20,000 worth of damage to the home, Deputy Fire Marshal Jon Williams said.

“Lightning struck a tree in the front yard, and the tree was in close proximity to the gas line,” he said.

The lightning destroyed the gas line and went into a crawl space in the house, which started a fire there. The fire then burned up through the flooring and into the bathroom hallway of the house. A dog inside of the residence died in the fire, but no one else was home when it started. An occupant of the home noticed the fire when he returned there that night and called 911, Williams said.

The home did have an alert system but it is believed that when the lightning struck, it damaged the house’s phone line and alarm system, he said.