Lightning strikes two homes, strongly suspected in a third, during Saturday storm

by Joni Astrup

Associate editor

Lightning struck two homes and is suspected of hitting a third during a storm

Lightning caused a fire at this house on Main Street in Elk River. No one was home, but a neighbor smelled and saw smoke and called 911. Photo by Kara Stritesky

Saturday morning, July 21, in Elk River.

A fire broke out in two of the homes but did not cause major damage.

“It was certainly a violent storm that came through and brought with it some significant lightning,” Elk River Fire Chief T. John Cunningham said.

The calls came in at 7:52 a.m. in the 200 block of Lowell Avenue, 8:31 a.m. in the 19300 block of Queen Circle and 9:27 a.m. in the 1100 block of Main Street.

Cunningham said the last two calls were certainly lightning strikes and they are fairly positive that the first one was as well.

Elk River firefighters outside and on the roof of a home in the 1100 block of Main Street that was struck by lightning Saturday morning. Photo by Kara Stritesky

In the first two cases the homeowners were home and were able to call the fire department right away, he said. In the Main Street fire, no one was home but an observant neighbor smelled and saw smoke and called 911.

“That certainly prevented the fire from spreading,” Cunningham said.

There was no major damage in any of the cases and the homes are all habitable, he said.

Here’s more about the incidents, according to the police reports.

•7:52 a.m., 200 block Lowell Avenue: When authorities arrived, there was visible smoke showing from the home. The Elk River Fire Department responded and the fire was contained in the laundry room near the washer and dryer.

Elk River Fire Chief John Cunningham (light coat) and other firefighters on the lawn outside a home on Main Street, where lightning started a fire. Photo by Kara Stritesky

•8:24 a.m., 19300 block of Queen Circle: The homeowner reported that his home had been struck by lightning. There was no sign of fire or smoke, but he wanted the home checked. Cunningham conducted the inspection and determined that the electrical power had been disabled, but there was no fire. The power company was contacted.

•9:27 a.m., 1100 block of Main Street: A house fire was reported. When authorities arrived, there was visible smoke from the roof. No one was inside the home.