Lightning Determined as 'Likely Cause' of House and Barn Fires; Both Destroyed

By: Tim Irr - Email
By: Tim Irr - Email

LAWRENCE COUNTY, Ohio (WSAZ) -- Lightning strikes Tuesday night likely caused two separate fires that destroyed a house and a barn in Lawrence County, according to a news release from the Division of State Fire Marshal.

The house was located on Tallow Ridge in the Chesapeake area, and the barn was located in the Proctorville area of Windsor Township.

According to the release from Public Information Officer Shane Cartmill, neighbors and witnesses in both locations told fire investigators the fires were discovered and reported within minutes of hearing louder than usual thunder.

Both structures were located in cleared areas on top of hills, and severe thunderstorms moved through the area at the times the fires were reported.

No one was injured in either fire. The homeowners in Chesapeake had left their home shortly before the incident occurred. Investigators say the fire in Chesapeake home originated in the attic. A point of origin in the barn fire was not determined.

As mentioned, both structures were destroyed. Investigators say the 68-by-48 foot barn had more than 5,000 bales of hay, a vehicle and farm equipment stored inside.

In a separate incident, a shed behind the home in Chesapeake was burglarized several hours after the fire, and the Lawrence County Sheriff’s Office made an arrest in that case.

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