Lightning strike causes fire on deck

Staff Reports

A lightning strike is believed to have caused a fire on a wooden patio deck in the Tipton Lakes area.

City of Columbus firefighters were called to a home at 1000 Bayside Court at 8:16 p.m. Friday after a neighbor saw flames near a gas grill, said Capt. Mike Wilson, fire department spokesman.

Mary Lou Slattery, who lives at 1041 Bayside Court, told investigators that she saw a flash of lightning about 3:30 p.m. Friday near her home. Slattery stated that she then received a telephone call from employees of Tipton Lakes Marina saying they had witnessed a lightning strike between her home and the neighboring home at 1000 Bayside Court.

Her husband, Dan Slattery, told investigators that he had discovered several breakers had tripped inside his home following the strike. He went to check the neighboring home — whose owners were not home — at about 8 p.m. and discovered the fire, Wilson said.

Firefighters arrived on the scene to find that the fire had spread on the underside of the wooden deck toward the home, after which crews quickly extinguished the flames, Wilson said.

Firefighters found the dryer vent cover had melted on the exterior of the home, causing smoke to enter the interior of the residence through the vent lines and the dryer. Clothing inside the dryer sustained smoke damage, Wilson said. The home’s owners were not identified.

Fire inspector Matt Noblitt said that a gas line — which supplied a gas grill — was located directly under a portion of the deck that received fire damage. He estimated damage at $3,000.

The fire has been ruled natural, caused by lightning, Wilson said.