Lighting Suspected in Three Tennessee Building Fires

July 19, 2012

Chattanooga, Tenn., fire officials will investigate whether lightning sparked at least three fires.

Fire Department spokesman Bruce Garner said the fires broke out about 10 p.m. Tuesday as a severe thunderstorm rained lighting on the city.

In the most serious incident, firefighters arrived to find a four-unit townhome building enveloped in flames. Damage was extensive. At about the same time, fire units were called to another house fire and blaze in a commercial building.

A witness told fire officials lighting struck the house and firefighters arrived to find flames in the attic. Employees who were in the commercial building reported a flash and what sounded like an explosion before the flames erupted.

There were no civilian injuries. One firefighter was treated at the scene for heat exhaustion.

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