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Firefighter hospitalized after a possible lightning strike causes apartment fire in Rochester Hills

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Posted at 4:56 PM, Aug 16, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-16 21:06:14-04

ROCHESTER HILLS, Mich. (WXYZ) — One firefighter was temporarily hospitalized after crews responded to an apartment fire from a possible lightning strike Sunday morning.

Around 5:39 a.m., the Rochester Hills Fire Department was dispatched to an apartment in the 3600 block of Galloway Ct.

Firefighters arrived to find fire coming from the roof of the eight unit apartment building.

All occupants were safely evacuated. No residents were injured, according to the fire department.

After entering the building to extinguish the fire, it took about one hour to get the fire under control and another hour to fully extinguish the flames.

Residents called 911 after hearing an extremely loud crack of thunder and bright lightning. According to Rochester Hills FD, it is believed that lightning possibly caused the fire, but the fire is still under investigation.

One firefighter was taken to the hospital for exhaustion. He is doing well. No other firefighters were injured.

The roof is burned off for half of the building. Crews report extensive fire, smoke and water damage to four apartments with another four units affected from water and smoke damage.

DTE and Consumers were called to turn off the utilities to the entire building.

Oakland County Sheriff Fire Investigation Unit is currently handling the investigation.

The Red Cross was called to assist with the residents and building management. The Rochester Hills Fire Department helped residents with removing some clothing and emergency items from their apartments.

Crews were also able to save a cat in one apartment, and he is doing fine, officials say.