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Lightning Strike Causes $80,000 Damage to House on Wood St Near Palatine Rd and Quentin Rd, Palatine

Mon August 25 2014 11:09 am
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Palatine firefighters responded at 2:09 p.m. Saturday to a report of a house fire at 961 W. Wood St. in Palatine. Neighbors called 9-1-1 reporting flames shooting out of the peak of the roof on the west side of the house during a severe thunderstorm. The first Palatine Fire Department crews arrived on the scene at 2:13 p.m. and reported smoke and fire showing from the roof of the 2-story single family home. The first fire companies pulled a hose line and aggressively attacked the fire from the exterior, while other firefighters stretched a supply line to a fire hydrant and pulled two hose lines into the building for interior attack of the fire that was determined to be in the attic. Firefighters had to open the ceiling of the second floor to expose the fire for extinguishment. The fire was declared under control at 2:25 p.m. Firefighters continued to ventilate smoke and gases and perform extensive salvage and overhaul activities after the fire was extinguished.

No injuries were reported, but the home uninhabitable because of the fire. Damage is initially estimated at $80,000, and a preliminary investigation by Palatine Fire Department investigators indicates that the fire was caused by a lightning strike to the roof. The top of the chimney located toward the back of the house on the west side of the house was blown apart with some bricks reaching the sidewalk and parkway at the front of the house.

The fire was fought by 21 firefighters, staffing three engines, two ladder trucks, one rescue squad and two ambulances which responded to the scene along with a command officer and a Fire Investigator. Units from the Hoffman Estates Fire Department responded to the scene under a mutual aid agreement, but were returned upon their arrival as the fire was quickly under control. Palatine Police officers assisted at the scene with traffic control.

The severe storms that came through the area were responsible for numerous calls in Palatine in addition to this incident. Among others, these included three responses for transformer fires or wires down, two other houses struck by lightning without fires and three occupied cars stranded in flooded roadways. These calls were handled by Palatine crews that were freed up from the house fire, as well as by automatic aid and mutual aid companies from surrounding fire departments including Palatine Rural, Rolling Meadows, Buffalo Grove and Hoffman Estates.

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