WHITE LAKE TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WXYZ) - An unusual amount of lightning strikes in one day for an Oakland County community this Fourth of July. White Lake Township had at least four fires caused by lightning touching down.
Lightning hit a gas main that caused a fire on the front lawn of a home on Union Lake Road. A few more feet and it could have been the home on fire.
“Our lawn was on fire, and we were surprised. Thankfully nothing happened to the house,” said Jennifer Dean.
They were coming home from spending the holiday with the parents when they found the gas fire and fire trucks on their front lawn.
“It’s strange. I’ve never actually heard of gas burning underneath the ground, I mean from the pipe. I’ve never seen it. Usually it goes through to the house and an explosion. So very strange,” she said.
Everyone had to wait for Consumers Energy to turn the gas off so the fire would go out. Then repairs could be made to the gas line. What a busy night for White Lake Township fire crews. Before the gas main fire, they had been at another fire about a mile away. Lightning hit a house on Jamestown Drive and burned a hole in the roof.
“They discovered it pretty quick, which resulted in us being able to save their home for them,” said White Lake Township Fire Captain Ted Lilley.
No one was hurt. The homeowners were next door when it happened. The fire damaged the attic and the guest bedroom.
“Even though the fire was contained to a small portion of this roof, their entire electrical system is going to have to be gone through and tested, every single circuit. There may be damage to that,” said Captain Lilley.
At least five other fire departments helped with the fires. Waterford Township tried to assist but had their own fire that was caused by a lightning strike they had to handle first.
No one was hurt in any of the fires.
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