LIGHTNING CAUSES FIRES IN CONWAY

by Christian Mower on July 18, 2013

A METEOROLOGIST WITH THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN GRAY, MAINE SAYS MORE THAN 1,000 LIGHTNING STRIKES WERE RECORDED IN CARROLL COUNTY BETWEEN 9 P.M. TO 10 P.M. WEDNESDAY.

MARGARET CURTIS SAYS THAT’S AN UNUSUALLY HIGH NUMBER OF STRIKES.

CONWAY FIRE CHIEF STEVE SOLOMONSAYS THE LIGHTNING SPARKED SEVERAL FIRES, INCLUDING ONE AT A LARGE BARN THAT ALL FIVE CONWAY DEPARTMENTS AND FRYEBURG, MAINE FIREFIGHTERS RESPONDED TO JUST AFTER 9:30 P.M. AT 20 POTTER RD. IN CENTER CONWAY, AT THE INTERSECTION OF BROWNFIELD RD.

CENTER CONWAY FIRE CHIEF RAY LEAVITT SAYS HE FIRST GOT A REPORT OF A “GLOW IN THE SKY” BEFORE FIREFIGHTERS WERE ABLE TO PINPOINT THE LOCATION AS THE GRAMMY THORNE FARM. HE SAYS HE’S “99 PERCENT SURE” THE FIRE WAS CAUSED BY A LIGHTNING STRIKE.

CONWAY AMBULANCE PROVIDED REHABILITATION FOR ABOUT THREE DOZEN FIREFIGHTERS WHO WERE AT THE SCENE. NO ONE WAS HOME – OR HURT DURING THE FIRE BUT THE BARN WAS TOTALLY DESTROYED.

CREWS CLEARED THE SCENE AFTER ONE A.M. THURSDAY BUT LEAVITT LEFT SOME FIREFIGHTERS WITH A TRUCK THERE AND RETURNED THURSDAY FOR MORE CLEANUP WORK.

SOLOMON SAYS SHORTLY BEFORE 2 A.M. THURSDAY HIS DEPARTMENT RESPONDED TO ANOTHER STRUCTURE FIRE AT 225 HIGHLANDS DR. IN ROCKHOUSE MOUNTAIN, WHERE FIREFIGHTERS WERE ABLE TO CONTAIN A FIRE TO A SMALL AREA. LIGHTNING CAUSED ABOUT $10,000 IN DAMAGE TO THE ELECTRICAL AND LP GAS SYSTEMS OF THE HOME.

CONWAY CREWS PUT OUT A TREE FIRE EARLY THURSDAY MORNING ON PEQUAWKET DR. THAT HAD BEEN BURNING SINCE BEING HIT BY LIGHTNING EARLIER. SOLOMON SAYS NO ONE AT HIS DEPARTMENT GOT MORE THAN TWO HOURS’ SLEEP OVERNIGHT AND MANY FIREFIGHTERS WERE UP ALL NIGHT.

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