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Lightning strike causes fire at Pa. log home

May 30, 2012
  • Pennsylvania State Police said lightning hit the roof of this log home on Bain Road, sparking a fire that gutted the inside of the home. The owner was not home at the time of the fire.
By Kevin G. Gilbert/Staff Photographer

MERCERSBURG, Pa. — A Pennsylvania State Police fire marshal said a lightning strike Tuesday evening triggered a fire that gutted a log home in Montgomery Township, Pa.

Trooper Jeff Sarver said he visited the remnants of the home Wednesday and determined the roof of the two-story home at 13327 Bain Road was ignited by a lightning strike at about 6 p.m. Tuesday.

“That house was destroyed,” Sarver said. “It’s a total loss.”

The homeowner, David Dove, was at work when the fire started, but firefighters initially feared he was inside the house because his cars were in the detached garage, Sarver said. Fire officials called the American Red Cross to provide assistance.

Dove had insurance for the home off Pa. 75 south of Mercersburg, Sarver said.

Neighbors reported lightning and severe storms at the time of the fire, and they heard an explosion, according to Sarver.

“They said when (the lightning) hit the house, it sounded like a bomb,” he said.

The fire spread across the roof trusses, then the roof collapsed into the house. Sarver said a television antenna might have attracted the lightning.

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