Lightning strikes caused damage and forced evacuations Thursday morning for at least three businesses in the metro-east.
* A presumed lightning strike shortly after 11 a.m. caused an evacuation at the Cancer Treatment Center at 4000 N. Illinois St. in Swansea, according to the Swansea Fire Department.
The building was evacuated by firefighters when alarms went off and the smell of smoke was noticed in the building.
Firefighters are currently working at the scene. Return later to bnd.com for updates on this developing story.
*A lightning strike at about 7:30 Tuesday morning forced the evacuation of the Praxair facility near the St. Louis Downtown Airport in Cahokia.
According to fire department reports, the strike caused a small fire that was quickly extinguished. No one was hurt in either the strike or the following effort to put out the flames.
* A lightning strike caused the McDonald's restaurant in Wood River to be evacuated early Thursday morning.
"It appears that it struck the air conditioning units on the roof," Wood River Fire Department Chief Steve Alexander said. "It caused the building to be filled with a light haze and it was evacuated. But there was no fire. Fortunately, it didn't amount to much."
After the lightning strike at the Praxair facility, firefighters from Cahokia, Dupo, Camp Jackson and Prairie DuPont responded to find a fire on the roof.
A call to the Cahokia Praxair location was answered by a man who said the company would have nothing to share about the fire.
Praxair, based in Connecticut, supplies businesses in the healthcare, aerospace, energy, chemical production, electronics and other industries with a variety of gasses used in for processing and manufacturing.
The company suffered a catastrophic explosion at its St. Louis distribution yard in June 2005 which made national news. Tanks of chemicals were launched into the air raining flames down on the surrounding neighborhood near Lafayette Square that caused cars to catch on fire and Interstate 64 to be shut down. The Praxair site was severely damaged and was abandoned after the fire and explosions.
The lightning strike at the McDonald's occurred about 6:20 a.m., according to emergency responder radio traffic.
Alexander said there were no injuries at the restaurant, located at 1150 Vaughn Road. The restaurante reopened soon afterward.