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Lightning Strike Sparks Fire At Lake Forest Home

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LAKE FOREST, Ill. (STMW) – Firefighters from multiple departments spent nearly an hour and a half quelling a blaze at a luxury home in north suburban Lake Forest, one of three buildings struck by lightning there Thursday, officials said.

No residents or firefighters were injured in the fire in the 300 block of E. Ravine Drive, according to a statement issued by the Lake Forest Fire Department.

A resident called the Fire Department at 8:25 a.m. to report the house had been struck by lightning and contained smoke, the release said. Firefighters arrived at 8:33 a.m.

“Upon arrival (police) reported smoke in the house (and) residents evacuating,” the release said.

Firefighters discovered smoke on the second floor but were not sure of the location of the fire, “believed to be in the converted attic (or) walls,” it said.

The release did not indicate where the lightning struck.

Firefighters began an “aggressive offensive attack” on the fire and requested a box alarm at 8:46 a.m. and then a second alarm at9:05 a.m., according to the fire report.

“(The battle was) labor intensive, chasing fire through void spaces in the walls,” the release said. “Multiple mutual aid agencies joined Lake Forest in fighting the fire.”

The fire was finally extinguished at 9:53 a.m. with “heavy damage to the home,” it said. Department reports said firefighters worked on “intensive salvage operations.”

The cause of the blaze is currently under investigation.

During storms Thursday morning in Lake Forest, lightning also struck a chimney in the 1000 block of South Evergreen Drive and a bank in the 900 block of South Waukegan Road, the release said.

Chief Fred Kruger of the Lincolnshire-Riverwoods Fire Protection District estimated during the fire that more than 15 departments were called to assist Lake Forest firefighters as a result of the second alarm.

“It’s a big house off of Sheridan Road,” Kruger said. “It’s a pretty good-sized fire.”

Lincolnshire-Riverwoods was among the departments on the scene, said Paul Schebel, information coordinator for the department.

In their prepared statement, Lake Forest officials said 25 fire engines, trucks and other apparatus responded to the call. A report of the number of firefighters who assisted was pending, they said.

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

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