Posted by Mike Dever - email
LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Lightning from storms that moved through Kentuckiana early Wednesday has been blamed for sparking two house fires in south Louisville.
PRP firefighters responded to a fire in the 9000 block of Thompson Lane caused by lightning, and the firefighters in Okolona were called to a home in the 1000 block of Arbor Oak Drive that was also hit by lightning.
The owner of the home on Thompson Lane was inside when lightning apparently struck a tree that fell on the house, but he wasn't harmed.
"He seen the fire in his garage," said Chief Vincent Smith PLeasure Ridge Park Fire District. "He initially went and got a water hose, is what he was telling me, to try to put he fire out, but there was no way he could put the fire out."
The house itself was also struck by lightning and suffered major damage after a fire started in the garage and a new addition to the home and spread to the attic.
"The flames were about 20 foot in the air coming from the garage," said Smith.
A neighbor says the people who live in the home have been working to fix it up for the past couple of years.
"It's just it's just so sad," said neighbor and friend Betty House. "(These) kids that work so hard and try so hard and such good people, that this could happen to them."
In Okolona, fire crews from Okolona and Highview were still on the scene in the 1000 block of Arbor Oak Drive early Wednesday afternoon after responding to a call of smoke coming from the home.
"(Lightning) actually hit the gas meter," said Okolona Fire Marshall Mike Allendorf. "A lot of those meters do have metal it's going to conduct electricity just like anything else--just a fluke thing to hit low."
Neighbors said they heard a loud boom. When they came outside to check, they spotted the smoke coming from the home.
"You can see it going across the sky, kinda like a big bolt , something you see on cartoons," said Linda Trabue.
Firefighters say lightning hit the side of the home, striking the gas meter, and then traveled down to the basement and up to the second floor. A family recently moved into the house, but they were not at home at the time.
Damage to the home is estimated at around $30,000.
No injuries were reported in either fire.
Residents in Hardin County were reporting pea sized hail and strong winds, and there were scattered power outages in parts of Hardin and Jefferson Counties, and about 400 customers were without power in Clark County, Indiana.
There were active warnings or watches associated with these storms as of 10 a.m., and WAVE 3 Meteorologist Christie Dutton is calling for only a slight risk of severe storms today, mainly into the late afternoon and evening, but some of these storms could bring damaging winds.
The first round of storms should be over by 1 p.m. with a second round moving in sometime after 5 p.m. Stay with WAVE 3 for weather updates throughout the day.