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‘Loud Bang’: Possible lightning strike sparks Hyrum house fire

September 16th, 2015 Posted in Opinion

Story & Photo by Erin West
HNC Hyrum Correspondent

HYRUM, Utah — Fire, possibly caused by a lightning strike, burned a home at 400 W 300 North around 8:20 a.m. today. The cause is under investigation.

ErinWestFire“When I got here, we had smoke coming out on the west side of the building up into the east, pushing up through the attic,” said Hyrum fire chief Kevin Maughan. “We did a quick entry to make sure the homeowners were okay, then we opened up the west wall and put the majority of the fire out and started digging and we’re still looking to find out the cause.”

Homeowner Randy Lewis said he believes the fire started with a lightning strike that traveled through the house’s electrical system.

“It made one heck of a loud bang,” Lewis said. “I saw a big flash of light. Immediately, it turned off all the power and all the breakers.”

Lewis’s son, Mike Topham, was in the home when the fire started.

“I heard a bang,” he said. “I didn’t think anything of it, but then Randy came in and said, ‘Hey, the house is on fire. Get out.’”

Firefighters also worried about some ammunition stored in one room, but it was not threatened by the fire, Maughan said. “It gets the nerves of the firemen,” Maughan said. “You do your best to get the fire and firemen out of that room.”

Maughan said the ammo was far enough away from the flames that nothing detonated.

“The fire was mostly contained in studs and roof joints,” he said.

The flames were quickly under control with minimal damage to the home, he said.

“There’s not much you can do about lightning,” Lewis said. “What happens, happens, I guess. We’ve had a lot of lightning lately and that’s all I can tell you.”

TP

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