Lightning fire destroys homePublished 5:34pm Wednesday, April 10, 2013
Lightning sparked a fire Wednesday morning which destroyed Troy and Barb Jones’ home of almost 30 years — again.
The Joneses bought the former Gebhard house at 431 E. Division St. after an electrical fire burned their previous home on New York Avenue.
An act-of-God bolt from the blue through the roof was hard to take.
Neighbors felt a “big boom,” but Troy, inside fixing lunch, noticed a smoky smell when the clock stopped.
He called the fire department at 11:21, informed his wife, who was at work in Cassopolis, and evacuated their dog, but could not locate the cat.
The stubborn fire, which occupied area firefighters for much of the day, closed Division Street (M-62), detouring traffic traveling between Dowagiac and Cassopolis.
Dowagiac firefighters put their aerial unit into service and were backed up by their colleagues from Wayne Township, Indian Lake, Cassopolis, Penn Township, Edwardsburg, Pride Care EMS and city police.
Capt. Michael Mattix, operations officer, said crews arrived on scene to find heavy smoke coming from the north side of the home.
The initial dispatch was for a house struck by lightning, with smoke filling the home.
Extensive fire, heat, smoke and water damage occurred throughout.
Mattix said firefighters were hampered in extinguishment efforts by large amounts of home goods stored throughout the dwelling.
Firefighters remained on the scene until 5:30 p.m.
Mattix confirmed the cause of this fire has been determined to be a lightning strike to the rear portion of the home. No smoke alarms were found in the home, which appears to be a total loss.
Tags: Dowagiac Fire Department