Lightning ignites SR 138 house fire

By Gary Abernathy

February 21, 2014

A powerful lightning strike ignited a house fire on SR 138 Thursday night, leading to a blaze that destroyed the home. No one was hurt.

Fire departments including Paint Creek, Lynchburg, Mowrystown, Marshall, Fayetteville and New Vienna responded to the fire at 6540 SR 138 west of Hillsboro at around 10 p.m. Thursday, but the quick-spreading inferno consumed the house.

Paint Creek Deputy Chief Jim Lyle said Friday that the smoke and intense heat were so bad that firefighters had to back out of the house after making their first entry. They regrouped and tackled the fire again, said Lyle.

The home belonged to the Tyler Reno family, said Lyle, and he said family members reported that when the lightning struck, “it shook the whole house.”

The occupants and family dogs escaped safely, said Lyle, but the house was a total loss.

Firefighters remained on the scene until 4:30 a.m., said Lyle.

The lightning strike was part of a severe line of storms that moved through Highland County on Thursday evening. The National Weather Service said Friday it is conducting surveys to determine how much damage was caused Thursday night, particularly in Montgomery and Delaware counties in Ohio and Ripley County in neighboring Indiana.