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March 25, 2013

Lightning strike believed to spark gas line blaze

CORBIN — By Becky Killian / Editor

A lightning strike was reported as the cause of a gas line fire Sunday at a home in Cardinal Heights, according to West Knox Fire and Rescue Chief Darryl Baker.

The fire at a split-level home along Meadow Brook Drive was reported about 6 p.m. by the homeowners. When firefighters arrived, they found fire shooting from a hole in the yard as well as near a gas meter on the corner of the home.

Firefighters kept dousing the flames near the house with water while Delta Gas employees responded.

 It took about 45 minutes to get the blaze under control. Baker’s department remained at the scene for about two hours.

The fire did spread to the home’s lower level, which suffered the most damage. The rest of the home has smoke damage.

Baker said he was told a boy was in the lower level of the home when the lightning strike occurred. The force of the strike blew the boy off the couch, although he wasn’t injured.

It is unclear whether the lightning may have first struck a tree in the yard, the gas line or the metal gas line tracer used by the gas company to detect the location of gas lines, Baker said. The strike did ignite the line in several places.

The gas and electricity to the home were disconnected during the fire fight, so the family that resides at the house wasn’t able to stay there Sunday.

Baker said he was told the family had only just moved to the house and had been there for about a week.

Before his crew left the scene, Baker said he saw neighbors come to the family’s aid in “swarms.” The neighbors brought plywood to the damaged home and helped put the boards in place to block a window and a wall.

Eighteen West Knox firefighters and four from Lily Volunteer Fire Department responded to the fire. Baker said Lily was called to help provide water.

No firefighters were injured in the blaze.

Delta Gas and the Knox County Sheriff’s Department also responded.

Sunday’s fire was the second Baker’s department responded to over the weekend.

The first fire occured Saturday night on Standard Avenue in Corbin.

Baker said an empty house that is for sale was destroyed.

Although the cause of Saturday’s fire isn’t known, Baker said it isn’t considered suspicious.

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