Lightning Strikes: Possible Cause of Two Area House Fires
June 2, 2019
The Brighton Area Fire Dept. responded to two house fires Saturday, at least one of which was caused by a lightning strike. Three firefighters sustained minor injuries in the fires and one resident suffered a minor burn. According to Fire Chief Mike O’Brian, the first fire occurred at a home on Pleasant Valley Road, near Larkin, in Brighton Twp.
The fire dept. got the call at 2:15 p.m. and was assisted at the scene by the Green Oak Twp. and Hartland-Deerfield fire departments. Brighton Area Fire Dept. Chief Mike O’Brian tells WHMI the garage was fully engulfed in flames and was totaled. Two men, an older man in a wheelchair who suffered a burn to his hand, and a younger man, were already out of the house when firefighters arrived. O’Brian says the 2-story, wood-frame home suffered extensive damage but was not completely destroyed. Two firefighters suffered heat exhaustion, for which they were treated at the scene.
In the other fire, Brighton Area Fire Dept. crews were called to a home on Pardee Road near Beattie Road in Genoa Township at about 5:30 p.m. Saturday. The fire, which started in the basement, was burning in the floor space between the basement and first floor, and as a result, was very difficult to get access. Although the family was home when the fire broke out, all managed to get outside safely.
According to O’Brian, the fire may have been the result of a lightning strike, but that has not been definitely been determined. The fire marshal will be at the scene Monday to investigate the cause of the blaze. O’Brian says about 30% of the one-story, wood-frame home suffered fire damage. O'Brian says there were several lightning strikes in the area as a result of two separate rounds of fast-moving thunderstorms that rumbled through Livingston County Saturday afternoon and evening.(TT)