Lightning Strike Likely Cause of Beaufort House Fire - Local news, weather, sports Savannah | WSAV On Your Side

Lightning Strike Likely Cause of Beaufort House Fire

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Prince St. Fire/Courtesy of Beaufort Fire Dept. Prince St. Fire/Courtesy of Beaufort Fire Dept.
BEAUFORT COUNTY, S.C. -

Beaufort Fire Chief Sammy Negron says lightning may have sparked a fire last night that gutted a home in the town's Historic Landmark District.

The house in the 500 block of Prince Street wasn't occupied at the time but witnesses told firefighters the home had recently been sold and was scheduled to have tenants move in next week.

Neighbors reported a very loud bang consistent with the sound of a lightning strike earlier Thursday afternoon when a series of severe storms rolled through the Lowcountry.

Lightning strike software used by the Beaufort Fire Department revealed a lightning strike within 25 meters of the structure around 3:41 p.m. Thursday, Beaufort Fire Chief Sammy Negron said.

Neighbors also reported a wood-burning smell.

"It appears this house fire most likely started from storm lightning," Negron said. "Our firefighters worked hard to contain the fire, which is a tremendous concern in the Historic District where sometimes the homes are so close together and fire can jump from lot to lot."

According to State Farm, South Carolina is ranked ninth in the nation for the number of insurance claims for lightning strikes.

Georgia is number one.

The Beaufort Fire Department was called to another house fire around 11 p.m. Wednesday in the Old Point section of historic Beaufort.

It took four hours to extinguish that blaze which caused the roof to collapse.

Negron says no injuries were reported in that fire.

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