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Fire Breaks Out After Lightning Strikes House

The Valley Independent

Residents of duplex on Monongahela’s Main Street were driven from their home Monday night after lightning struck the roof and started a fire.

Firefighters responded 11:52 p.m. to 402 E. Main St. after property owner Dina Annesi, 81, reported a corner of the roof was burning.

Annesi, who lives on the bottom floor, made it out safely, fire Chief Frank Hnatik said.

Hnatik said the upstairs residents, an unidentified couple with three children, also escaped unharmed.

“It was ruled an accidental fire due to a thunderstorm that came through the area,” the chief said.

“The power had gone out, and it came back on. Witnesses saw lightning strike on the corner where the electric came in. We’re thinking it either fouled the electrical lines up or it hit the roof directly. When it struck, it shook the house.”

Hnatik said the fire was contained to the back corner of the roof where the lightning struck and part of a walk-in attic.

The chief said the affected corner of the roof is open and there was heavy fire, water and smoke damage there and in that section of the attic.

There is smoke damage throughout the attic and second floor kitchen and water damage down to the basement on the corner of the home where the blaze began, he said.

Firefighter and city Councilman Daryl Miller was hospitalized after complaining of chest pains at the scene of the fire.

Hnatik said he was hospitalized overnight as a precaution and released Tuesday.

Firefighters cleared the scene at 4:45 a.m., Hnatik said.

The American Red Cross has provided temporary shelter for the residents, he said.

Carroll Township firefighters assisted at the scene, and the New Eagle department was on standby.

Tri-County and Mon Valley ambulance services and Monongahela police also responded.

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