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Lightning Considered Preliminary Cause of Middlebury Fire

A detached garage was fully engulfed in flames when Middlebury fire and police personnel arrived.

 

At approximately 5:10 p.m. today — Sunday, July 1 — a thunderstorm rolled through the western part of Middlebury, moving southeast. This storm produced heavy rain and lightning.

At about 5:28 p.m., the Middlebury Fire Department and Middlebury Police Department were dispatched to a structure fire in the rear of 77 Christian Rd., according to a 7:28 p.m. police report from Lt. Richard Wildman of the Middlebury Police Department.

Upon arrival, emergency personnel found a detached garage at 71 Christian Rd., fully engulfed in flames. The occupants of the home, Sandra Rajok and Sean Blanc, fled the main house when they discovered the fire, police reported.

There were no reported injuries as a result of this fire, according to police.

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 Some of the siding on the main house melted from the intense heat of the fire. A Jeep parked inside the garage was destroyed and a mini van parked outside of the garage also was heavily damaged.

Once the fire was extinguished and the smoke cleared, it was visible that there was a clear line of bark missing from the tree in the rear of the garage, indicating a lightning strike came down from the top of the tree and jumped onto the garage, Wildman stated.

Police are waiting for confirmation from the Middlebury fire marshal's office as to the cause.

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