The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

June 27, 2013

Geneva Township home damaged by fire, possible lightening strike

By MARGIE NETZEL - mnetzel@starbeacon.com
Star Beacon

GENEVA TOWNSHIP — A Geneva Township home sustained $25,000 in damage Tuesday after a suspected lightening strike ignited the home’s basement, the Geneva Fire Department reports.

Firefighters from Geneva, Harpersfield Township, Saybrook Township and Madison fire departments responded to the blaze at the rental home at 6367 N. Ridge Road W. amid rain, lightning and aggressive winds, firefighter Rob Bernardo said.

“We are looking at this as a possible lightening strike, though we are not 100 percent sure just yet,” he said. “It just would have been one heck of a coincidence for the fire to start at the same time as an electrical storm and not have the two be related somehow.”

Bernardo said the fire, which began in the basement, caused $15,000 in damage to the structure and $10,000 in damage to the contents.

“There was no visible sign of damage on the outside of the house that would lead us to believe the home had been directly struck by lightening,” Bernardo said. “But lightening can come into a house from the roof, the ground or even the wiring.”

The official cause of the fire is still undetermined, fire reports show, as the investigation continues.

Bernardo said no one was injured in the fire. Damage to the home was caused by smoke and fire.