LIGHTNING SPARKS HOUSE FIRE

(Sugar Hill, Ga., July 16, 2018) – Firefighters responded at 3:13 p.m., to an occupant report of a house fire due to lightning in the 5500 block of Blue Cedar Drive, NE in Sugar Hill.  The caller reported flames on the roof.

Crews arrived to find a fire burning on the exterior roof peak of a two-story, wood-frame house over a basement.  The homeowner was already outside – safe when the fire trucks arrived and no injuries were reported.  Firefighters quickly deployed a fire attack hose line and extinguished the fire.  The fire was contained to the exterior roof peak and did not spread inside the home.  Crews checked the attic for extension and ventilated the smoke.  Firefighters did a good job of stopping the spread of the fire and kept it from extending inside the main-living space.  Lightning also tripped several breakers in the electrical panel box. 

The homeowner told firefighters that he was inside, when he heard a loud boom and his power went out.  He suspected a lightning strike nearby and went outside to check.  The homeowner discovered flames on the roof of his home and called 9-1-1.  A strong thunderstorm packing cloud-to-ground lightning was moving through the area at the time.  “We are fortunate that no one was hurt and that the damage was not more severe,” said Gwinnett Fire Captain Tommy Rutledge.       

According to fire officials, residents are encouraged to stay weather aware during the summer season and year-round.  If you suspect a lightning strike, check your attic and basement first.  If you see smoke or flames, get-out fast and call 9-1-1.  If your home is clear, look outside to see if lightning may have struck a neighbor’s house.  Be prepared to call for help and provide a safe shelter.            

EQUIPMENT AT THE SCENE INCLUDED: 2-Engines, 1-Ladder Truck and 1-Medic Unit

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