As severe weather moved through McKinney on Wednesday morning, two residential structure fires occurred in a neighborhood near Alma and Silverado. Both fires were attributed to lightning strikes.
The first fire, on Loma Alta, was reported at approximately 11:18 a.m. Report of the second fire, on Laughing Waters, was received a short time later. More than 20 personnel responded to each scene, with the last unit clearing after 3:00 p.m. In addition to the two confirmed structure fires, a third home, also located on Loma Alta was struck by lightning. Upon investigation, there was no fire.
“As lightning continued in the immediate area, firefighters from McKinney fire stations 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, and 8, battled these blazes,” observed MFD Public Information Officer Stacie Durham. “Two of the three residences struck by lightning were occupied as the storm moved through. Fortunately, there were no injuries to civilians or firefighters.”
Fires started by lightning strikes peak during the summer months, with most occurring in late afternoon or early evening. Many homeowners wish to protect their homes from a lightning strike, a desire attributed to concern for health and safety of homeowners and families, as well as protection of property and assets.
The installation of a lightning protection system does not prevent a strike. According to Durham, “Lightning protection systems are designed 1) to shield the home and provide a direct path to the ground for the lightning current to flow; and 2) to prevent damage to the home as the current flows through the system. The overall goal is to keep homeowners and property safe.”
Protecting your home is a matter of contacting a professional qualified to design and install a certified lightning protection system. For additional information on lightning protection systems or for assistance in choosing a reputable contractor, contact the Lightning Protection Institute at 1-800-488-6864 or visit www.lightning.org.
Lightning Strikes McKinney Homes
The McKinney Fire Department is your resource for life safety information on a variety of topics, including severe weather and natural disaster survival. For additional information on protecting your family and your property visit www.mckinneyfire.org or call 972-547-2893.
Photo courtesy of First Response Photo