Lightning-sparked fire damages S. Fayette home

Tue, 07/14/2009 - 4:20pm
By: John Munford

Fire_Surrey Park_7-13-09

A house off Harp Road south of Fayetteville was heavily damaged after it caught fire early Monday morning with no one home — the result of an apparent lightning strike, fire officials said.

It is believed that the family living there is on vacation, said Capt. Pete Nelms of the Fayette County Department of Fire and Emergency Services.

The fire at 105 Surrey Park Drive was called in by the next-door neighbor at 5:33 a.m., Nelms said. The first fire unit was on the scene seven minutes later and found the home fully involved in flames, so a second call was broadcast to summon another wave of fire crews.

In all, a total of 12 county fire units were on the scene, assisted by the Fayetteville Fire Department, Nelms said.

The cause of the fire is being ruled a lightning strike, as an intense thunderstorm passed through the area south of Fayetteville after 2 a.m. The fire was reported more than three hours later, and it is common in lightning strikes at unoccupied homes for the strike to go undetected for a period of time until the fire is well underway, Nelms said.

The county fire marshal’s office is working to track down the homeowner, Nelms said.

The fire damaged the siding of the next door neighbor’s house but fire crews were able to successfully protect it from further damage, Nelms said.

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