Lightning Traveling Underground Sparks House Fire
Fire officials say lightning traveling underground likely caused a house fire in Saco on Wednesday.
The Portland Press Herald reports a utility pole was struck by lightning at around 2:00 yesterday afternoon, destroying the pole. Power was knocked out to the surrounding neighborhood, but no one was hurt by the strike.
When fire broke out at a four-unit townhouse, officials traced it back to the lightning strike. An underground water main was destroyed, presumably when the lightning traveled along toward the house. Officials say the fire entered the basement unit of the Cumberland Avenue townhouse near a washer and dryer, setting the unoccupied apartment on fire. Heavy smoke caused damage through the other units, but no injuries were reported.
The fire remains under investigation.