A home in the community of Gillis was substantially damaged by fire on Saturday afternoon. Investigators at the scene believe the fire may have been caused by a lightning strike as an area of thunderstorms moved over the area.

Personnel and equipment from several area fire companies responded to the call which came in just before 5 pm on Saturday. Investigators say there were people inside the home at the time of the fire but they were alerted to the danger by neighbors and were able to evacuate the property without incident.

There were no injuries reported in the blaze which is still under investigation. According to national statistics, every year over 22,500 residential fires are started by lightning strikes across the United States. Nine people were killed in fires believed to have been started by lightning last year. Damage from lightning strikes on residential properties is estimated to be $451 million dollars based on data from 2018.


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