Lightning strike investigated as cause of Vandalia house fire; ‘significant’ damage reported

VANDALIA — Witnesses said a lightning strike sparked a house fire in Vandalia Tuesday that caused significant damage to the home’s second floor, according to investigators.

Firefighters were called to the home in the 1100 block of Bent Twig Drive just before noon and reported flames and smoke were coming from the house.

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A witness told firefighters he saw the house get hit by lighting minutes before smoke started to come from the structure, Vandalia Fire Chief Chad Follick told News Center 7. Investigators will work to determine if it was indeed the cause, but Follick said the bolt was “very likely” the cause.

“Everything points to that where the fire’s location is and how quickly the fire was advanced. That storm rolled through pretty quickly and within a half hour, 45 minutes, we had visible fire from the roof,” Follick said.

No one was home at the time of the fire and no injuries were reported. A dog ran out of the house when firefighters forced their way inside and another animal was later rescued by crews, Follick said.

Homeowner Sara Key told News Center 7′s John Bedell the dog that ran off has been found.

“We mostly wanted to make sure the dogs were OK. We had one of them and the other one ran away,” homeowner Sara Key said.

“We were looking for her for a while and we just found her. So thank god, both of the dogs were OK. Anything in the house can be replaced.”

Despite the damage, Key said she was just relieved and grateful there was only damage to the house and no injuries.

“One hundred percent relief. I mean I’m devastated at what’s happened. So we have both of our dogs and nobody was in the home, so nobody was injured. We’re just thankful. Very, very thankful,” she said.

Follick called the damage to the second floor “significant” but a estimate of the cost of the damage was not immediately known. The home’s occupants will be displaced and firefighters will offer assistance if it is needed, Follick said.

Additional firefighters from Huber Heights, Butler Twp., Harrison Twp., and Englewood responded to assist Vandalia battle the blaze.

At around 12 noon crews dispatched to reported house fire in 1100 block of Bent Twig. Crews arrived to find smoke and...

Posted by City of Vandalia Division of Fire on Tuesday, May 4, 2021