MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Authorities said as many as eight people are displaced from three homes after they were all hit by lightning just south of the Twin Cities Thursday morning.
Crews responded to the 17000 block of Foliage Ave. in Lakeville on a report of a fire after lightning hit gas meters at three homes. Fire officials said the occupants of all three homes, including pets, made it out safely, and neighbors are being told to stay in their homes.
"We just moved in this past October. Haven't been here a year," said Curt Parrish, whose home burned in the early morning fire.
Home ownership is full of projects and improvements, but Parrish's latest repair comes courtesy of severe weather.
"My wife called me this morning. I was just going into a meeting and she says the house is on fire," Parrish said.
Lightning sparked a fire that burned the second level of Parrish's home. The bolt was so strong it ignited flames across the street and three doors down. Firefighters believe the lightning hit a tree, passed through an underground gas line, and then blew out gas meters on the nearby homes.
"Very busy night to have three structure fires on one street," said Lakeville Fire Chief Mike Meyer.
Mindy Cull and her husband watched as firefighters put out the flames that burned their dining room.
"I'm shocked, I guess, more than anything," said Mindy Cull, whose home started on fire.
All three families didn't realize their homes were burning until neighbors pounded on the door alerting them of a fire.
The damage was minor at all three homes, leaving neighbors thankful that these fires started in a downpour.
"House is still there. We can fix the damage," Parrish said.
Authorities said crews are working to shut off the gas meters at the homes. The fire is out, but the homes suffered extensive damage as a result of the lightning strike.
The St. Paul Fire Department said it responded to at least two house fires Thursday morning that were both caused by lightning strikes.
One happened on the 1800 block of Marshall Ave. Fire officials said the home suffered about $120,000 in damage, but the fire is out. The other blaze happened on the 1800 block of Feronia, and it had minor damage.
Fire officials said there were no reports of injuries at either fire.
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