will keep one Westport family from living at home for the foreseeable future.
Six lightning strikes kept the busy Monday morning, but the fires were kept relatively small by the quick action of responding fire crews, according to Westport Assistant Fire Chief Michael Kronick. Out of the 18 calls the Westport Fire Department received Monday, 16 of them were directly storm related.
“The fire at (73) Kings Highway South was doing significant damage and threatened the house,” Kronick said, adding that the fire was located on the third floor in a finished attic space.
Lightning hit the north side of the house, which was built in 1742, and continued into the attic in an area set up as an office. Westport Fire Chief Andrew Kingsbury said when firefighters arrived, flames were coming out of an upstairs window and a portion of the roof.
The damage was significant enough to keep the family from staying at home Monday night, according to Kronick. Although the family escaped without injury, a carpenter or contractor will be needed for repairs, which could potentially keep the family from living in their home for a couple of weeks. No fire personnel were injured fighting the fire.
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A fire that was set 18 Park Lane, which was ‘small in nature,’ was caused by an electrical shortage after the house was struck by lighting, Kronick said.
Flames were visible when Firefighters arrived at a shed fire at 4 Crooked Mile Road, but the first arriving companies easily extinguished the fire, which was cause by a lightning strike, according to Kronick.
Another lightning strike at 108 Morningside Drive damaged the home’s stone chimney, leaving debris on the front lawn, but responding Firefighters were not at the scene for very long, Kronick said.
“I don’t think there is anything you can do to prevent lightning from striking your house. It’s just the way it is,” Kronick said. “It’s going to strike where it's going to strike.”
While the storm brought down power lines and tree limbs, damage in Westport was kept to a minimum.
If you think lightning has hit your house, the best thing to do is to shut the power off.