Local News

Lightning Likely to Spark Fires

Posted June 18, 1998

— Late spring in the Tar Heel State means thunderstorms and lightning. We may be in for another round of severe weather Friday, and after Monday night's lightning storm, many people are wondering what they can do to protect their homes and property.

We all know about the dangers of being outside in a thunderstorm, but what about being inside? Monday night's severe thunderstorm caused lightning strikes all over Cary. At the Woodway at Cary Parkway apartments, one lightning strike sparked a fire.

"During Monday night's storm, we had nine calls in about a 40 minute period," explained Allan Cain of the Cary Fire Department. "That's highly unusual for us. With a typical summer thunderstorm, we usually have one or two lightning strike calls."

When lightning strikes, it can be frightening. It can also be destructive. Buildings which are not properly grounded can be hit and damaged. In some cases, lightning strikes can result in fire. At the Woodway apartments, residents in one building have to move out as a result of the damage.

"Lightning struck the peak of the roof of the building, and it caused the fire that resulted in about $100,000 damage," Cain said.

During that storm, four other homes sustained damage in the same area.

Fire departments have information available to help you protect your home and your property. There are also lightning protection specialists who will come to your home to give you tips and potentially save you money should a lightning strike damage your home.


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