Lightning strike triggers Jasper house fire

Photos by Traci Westcott/The Herald
Jasper volunteer firefighters work to extinguish an attic fire after lightning struck the Peter and Karen Legris residence this morning in Jasper. Smoke detectors alerted the family, who evacuated the house safely.

By BILL POWELL
bpowell@dcherald.com

JASPER — Lightning from a storm raking the county this morning is being blamed for an attic fire at a residence on Jasper’s west side.

Units of the Jasper Volunteer Fire Department were called to the Peter and Karen Legris residence at 988 N. Evergreen Drive at 6:15 a.m.

Fire Chief Kenny Hochgesang said the activation of the home’s smoke detectors alerted occupants to a problem. The three adults and three children inside successfully exited.

Hochgesang said the house has multiple roof levels. The occupants had not noticed a cause for the detectors’ activations while checking the house and its electrical panel on the way out, but once outside, flames were seen shooting out of the eaves of one roof section, according to the fire chief.

Jasper volunteer firefighters work to extinguish an attic fire after lightning struck the Peter and Karen Legris residence this morning in Jasper.

Firefighters gained access to the home’s attic and deployed two water extinguishers containing a firefighting agent that renders things it is sprayed on nonflammable.

A thermal camera was used to ensure all hot spots in the attic were extinguished, according to Hochgesang. Outside, firefighters used ground ladders to check the exterior for any additional problems.

Fire truck lights illuminated the scene as light rain continued to fall.

Hochgesang said the occupants were able to return inside the home, although the lightning strike did cause additional damage to some electronics and electrical system components.

The chief estimated total damage between $15,000 and $20,000.

Five trucks and 27 firefighters were on the scene for about 45 minutes.

The Jasper Police Department assisted, as did a Memorial Hospital Emergency Medical Services ambulance that was on standby at the scene.




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