UPDATED: Hertiage Hunt Blaze Caused by Lightning During Storm

| June 20, 2015 | 0 Comments | News
Northern Virginia Fire Buffs posted this photo of the Gainesville fire on their Facebook page from an anonymous contributor.

Northern Virginia Fire Buffs posted this photo of the Gainesville fire on their Facebook page from an anonymous contributor.

Updated: June 20, 10:42 p.m.

A Fire & Rescue official confirmed that a lighting strike ignited the blaze.

Original Story:

Lightning was the likely cause of a house fire Saturday evening in Gainesville’s Heritage Hunt community.

Prince William Fire & Rescue units responded to a single-family home at 5940 Affirmed Place at around 8 p.m.  At the time, the area was still experiencing a storm that included thunder, lightening, heavy rain and wind gusts. Battalion Chief Tom Jarman said the Fire Marshal has yet to confirm the cause of the fire though lightening is suspected.

Jarman said the home suffered “a fair amount” of damage, enough that residents were evacuated and the Red Cross was called in should the residents require their assistance.

The occupants of the house were not home at the time of the fire; a passerby alerted authorities of the fire.

“There was significant damage to the home,” he said.

The fire is currently extinguished; although, Jarman confirmed it is not easy to attack a fire during a thunderstorm.

“[The weather makes it] absolutely more difficult,” he said. “You would think with all of the rain coming down it helps, but it hinders us with the high winds.”

Winds over 35 miles-per-hour generally make it difficult for fire fighters to use aerial ladders, he said. Additionally, fire fighters expose themselves to lightning strikes.

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