FLORIDA -- A lightning strike set fire to a homeowner's garage on Tilda Hill Road Thursday afternoon, officials say.
"The whole house has severe smoke damage," Florida Fire Chief Mike Bedini said at the scene.
According to the North Adams Police blotter, officials responded to a call for mutual aid at the structure fire at 18 Tilda Hill Road at 12:41 p.m.
Bedini said it appeared that lightning struck a tree behind the garage, based on visible burn marks on the ground and a nearby tree. The lightning was conducted by a metal dog run tied to the tree. It traveled along the ground, and struck the rear corner of the garage, setting the corner of the structure on fire, he said.
Officials worked to extinguish the blaze during the remnants of the thunderstorm as more lightning strikes continued to hit the surrounding area. It was "pretty bad," he said.
"We had the fire knocked down within 10 minutes," Bedini said.
Bedini said there were no injuries, though firefighters were careful to avoid heat exhaustion during the hot and humid temperatures. Temperatures hovered in the low 80s on Thursday.
The fire destroyed all of the property inside the garage and caused significant damage to the building, he said.
"It's not condemned, but the garage has got to come down," Bedini said.
Bedini estimated the fire caused between $20,000 and $30,000 in damage.
"It could be more with a new garage," he said.
Homeowner Heidi Dugal said she was at work when the fire began. Her two dogs that were home alone when the fire started escaped safely, she said.
Florida, North Adams and Clarksburg fire departments responded to the scene, as well as North Adams Ambulance Service. Savoy Fire Department also responded, covering Florida's station.
"We had one Williamstown fire fighter who lives in town, he showed up," Bedini said. "We even had the State Police here. They were a very big help...They helped us pull line and get things opened up. We appreciate them coming."
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