Confirmed: House fire sparked by lightning

The investigation into a fire that destroyed a Crockery Township home on Saturday helped officials determine that lightning was the cause, Fire Chief Gary Dreyer said this morning. Dreyer returned to the scene on Monday with insurance investigators. All of the witness statements and weather reports added to that confirmation, he said. The fire appeared to start in the roof area of the house at 9878 Taft Road, Dreyer said. "We did not see any signs of an electrical issue in our examination,' he said. The house is owned by Bob and Theresa Kary.
Becky Vargo
Aug 23, 2011

The fire was reported at 1:45 p.m. Saturday. A thunderstorm went through between 1:15 and 1:30 p.m. that day. Neighbors reported hearing a loud “boom” before the fire was discovered.

Dreyer said that eight area fire departments were at the scene, primarily because of the need for manpower and because of the distance away from the nearest source of water.

“Everybody worked seamlessly together,” he said.

Damage was estimated at about $102,000 for the structure, Dreyer said.

The fire chief said he didn’t have an estimate for the home’s contents, but “usually insurance will go at half the value of the house for its contents.”

The Kary family was being assisted by the American Red Cross until the insurance company took over, Dreyer said.

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