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Lightning Strikes Spark Two House Fires

(Credit: Thinkstock)

(Credit: Thinkstock)

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GENEVA, Ill. (STMW) — Lightning strikes are believed to have sparked two separate house fires Friday evening in the west suburban town of Geneva.

Carried in by a powerful storm that battered the Chicago area, the bolts of lighting struck the two homes roughly 30 minutes apart, starting about 7:18 p.m., according to a release from the Geneva Fire Department.

First responders reported seeing flames spread along the garage wall of a home in the 900 block of Sunset Road, according to the fire department. The fire, which damaged the siding of the building, was quickly put out.

The homeowner recounted hearing lighting crack and then noticed the fire before fleeing to a neighbor’s house. The fire department said the lighting strike damaged a gas line, igniting the escaping gas.

While fire crews were still at the scene of the first fire, the roof of another home, in the 1500 block of Keim Circle, ignited, the fire department said. The fire is believed to be sparked when lightning hit the home, with flames spreading quickly to the attic.

Fire crews arrived on the scene about 7:45 p.m. and found the homeowner trying to combat the blaze with a garden hose, the fire department said.

Fire damage was limited to the roof, but water used to extinguish the flames damaged the second floor of the home.

The fire department does not yet have a dollar estimate for damages to the homes.

(Source: Sun-Times Media Wire © Chicago Sun-Times 2013. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)