Lightning may have caused a fire that destroyed an unoccupied home in rural Bond County early Wednesday morning.
Highland-Pierron Fire Chief Steve Plocher said an official investigation still needs to be done, but all signs point to a lightning strike.
“It sure looks that way on the surface,” Plocher said.
The home at 291 Trestle Ave., about 2 miles southeast of Pierron, caught fire as thunderstorms rolled through the area during the early morning hours.
“A young couple had recently bought it and were doing some clean up and renovation and were just about getting ready to move in,” Plocher said.
The fire department was dispatched to the general area at 2:02 a.m. Wednesday for a report of a possible house fire. Upon their arrival, firefighters found the blaze had already spread throughout the wood-framed home, which was built in the early 1900s.
“The fire had been burning for awhile before we arrived,” Plocher said.
Firefighters were on the scene for about 3 1/2 hours. St. Rose and Grantfork fire departments were called for mutual aid to help keep the fire from spreading. Firefighters were able to save a two-car, detached garage, which was located only 10 feet away from the house.
“Fortunately, the wind was blowing (in the) right direction, and we were able to save that building,” Plocher said. “It only melted the vinyl siding.”
Firefighters were recalled to the scene for a rekindle at 1:50 p.m. Wednesday.
This was the second fire in the Highland area in 10 days thought to have been caused by a lightning strike. Firefighters said lightning was also likely the culprit that ignited a fire on Aug. 9 that destroyed the Highland Chiropractic office, 206 Walnut St. in Highland.