UPDATE: Amherst Co. Home A Loss After Lightning-Caused Fire
Lynchburg, VA - Images captured by director of public safety Gary Roakes paint the picture of a complete loss for one family.First minute there's lightning, the next a fire."[The family] heard a loud boom, if you will, in the house," said Roakes. "When they opened up the kitchen door to the garage, they saw a large fire in the garage area."Roakes says they got the call at 6:17 PM Thursday, with the National Weather Services telling Roakes of lightning strikes in the area between 6:06 PM and 6:16 PM.
It took three fire department 20 minutes to make it to the property, he says, even having to change course due to this one-way bridge.
"Due to the remote area where the house was located, by the time the time the fire department got there the house was fully involved," said Roakes.When there, the station needed to refill their water tanks. But there were no fire hydrants near the home. Some rural communities have dry hydrants, a pipe system installed near a body of water. There weren't any of those either.The fire hydrant crews refilled trucks was across the street from the Elon Fire Department. According to Roakes, it's the closest and last one on the Route 130 stretch until Rockbridge County. ABC 13 News asked Roakes if the county needs to add more hydrants in that area."Adding waterlines and things like that, they focus those on the very populated areas, it's very cost prohibitive," said Roakes.
Roakes says one of the homeowners suffered a minor burn on her foot. Nine people lived in the home and the American Red Cross is assisting them.