With the Spring and Summer months right around the corner thunderstorm season is coming along with it. This video depicts a fire that started due to a lightning strike. With the dense population in the western portion of the area I serve this is something we combat every summer multiple times.
Typically the lightning hits the roof of the house, and lights the roof on fire and the subsequent attic materials. Like we talked about in previous posts here: http://averagejakeff.wordpress.com/2011/02/14/did-it-start-in-the-attic/ and here: http://averagejakeff.wordpress.com/2011/02/12/roof-venting/
Fires in attic areas are difficult and can go from small to large very quickly with the amount of things people keep in their attic. Like everything else we do preparation is key, make sure you pay attention to weather reports in your area.
Also do not be afraid to do what you normally do during a storm. I have often been told to not “lay out” during a thunder-storm because if it’s nothing you can be back in service faster for the next call which in thunderstorm conditions calls are usually abundant. I think this is CRAZY! First and foremost thunderstorms is when we run a lot of significant fires, one storm last year brought 3 simultaneous fires in my department, and with all of the history we have your going to keep the hose on the truck? Secondly we are a first come first serve business, someone calls, we go, and they get our best no matter what the emergency is. I hate to miss a fire, in fact when it happens I am in a bad mood for about a week, but the person with chest pains thinks their problem is just as important as that fire, so we need to act accordingly on every call. It is the fire of your life until you get there and find out it’s not.
How does your department combat these types of fires? Leave some feedback in the comments section. As usual thanks for reading, spread the word, and stay safe.