(MITCHELL) - Mitchell and Marion Volunteer Fire Department firefighters are still on the scene of a house fire at 432 North 8th Street.
Mitchell police received a call at 2:48 a.m. this morning reporting a home had been hit by lightening.
The home owned by Philip Kirk, which he was renting, is destroyed. The renters were not home when the fire started.
"We could see the flames when we arrived at the fire station to get the trucks," says Mitchell VFD Chief Tyler Duncan. "Normally you can see what they call the fire glow but on this one we could see the actual flames. It was a direct lightening strike. It rattled the windows of all the homes in the neighborhood."
The two-story home was destroyed.
A home to the north, at 436 North Eighth Street, was also on fire when firefighters arrived. That home is owned by Sherry Kern.
"The north side of the home was on fire, melting the siding and damaged the roof. It also melted the siding on the garage," Duncan added.
The home to the south, at 428 North Eighth St., and owned by Chris Clock was also damaged.
"The siding was damaged and the windows were busted out," Duncan says. "It also melted the siding on the garage."
Everyone was out of the homes when we arrived. They were all woke by the lightening strike.
When firefighters arrived they went into defensive mode.
"We got the fire out in the surrounding homes and focused on containing the other fire," Duncan added. "Our biggest concern was the home to the north, because that was the way the heat and fire was blowing. Once that fire was out we focused on the other blaze."
But that was not the only concern. Live power lines were down in the back yard of the home.
"I was concerned with everyone's safety," Duncan says. "We had people out in the neighborhood and the firefighters concentrating on the blaze. It was a big safety concern."
Firefighters are still on the scene putting out hot spots.
"I am also concerned about the chimney flue," Ducan says. "You can imagine how tall it is being a two-story house and all the walls are now burnt around it. It is now a safety issue. It is not real safe to send a firefighter up a ladder to attempt to pull it down because it is so unstable. I am debating that now. But it really needs taken down and pulled into the basement area of the home for safety reasons."
Duncan appreciates everyone's help.
"Marion was here quickly with 12 men," Duncan added. "I know some of the neighbors were concerned. This was a bad fire, but I knew we would be able to get it under control quickly. I just really appreciate everyone's cooperation."
Have a question or comment about a news story? Send it to firstname.lastname@example.org