Nobody was injured during two structure fires Aug. 30 that are believed to be a result of lightning strikes that occurred from severe weather passing through the area.
The first incident occurred around 7:18 p.m. when a neighbor reported a home was on fire at 999 Sunset Road. The homeowner heard the lightning strike, saw flames from the kitchen window and exited through the front door to a neighbor’s home.
First arriving personnel reported flames were visible on the south side of the home along the wall of the attached garage. The flames were quickly extinguished by firefighters, who vented the house after discovering the home’s gas line was damaged. Interviews with the homeowner and investigation of the site indicated lightening either struck the supply line or a nearby tree, damaging the piping and igniting the escaping gas.
Nicor Gas personnel arrived on the scene and made temporary repairs to the damaged piping. Damage to the home was limited to burnt siding, with some smoke damage to the interior. No damage estimate is available at this time.
A second house fire was reported at 7:42 p.m. at 1565 Keim Circle while firefighters were still on the scene Sunset Road incident. First arriving responders found smoke and flames coming from the roof of the home, and neighbors attempting to control the fire using a garden hose from the front yard. All residents of the home had exited from the building and were accounted for prior to the arrival of the Fire Department.
Firefighters found the center attic on fire, which was spreading into other portions of the roof. Fire damage was limited to the roof while water damage occurred in the second floor beneath the fire area. Firefighters spread protective salvage covers over furnishings on the first floor and basement. No damage estimate is available at this time.
After interviewing the homeowner and conducting an investigation, the fire is believed to have started after the roof was struck by lightning and ignited.
Due to the overlapping of the two incidents, additional fire departments responded to replace those assigned to the first house fire. Assisting departments included Batavia, St. Charles, Elburn, Fermi Lab, North Aurora, South Elgin and West Chicago.