MAPLE GROVE, Minn. - An apparent lightning strike triggered a fire that significantly damaged a home in Maple Grove overnight.

Maple Grove Fire Chief Scott Anderson says residents of the home at 18868 63rd Place awoke to the sound of a lightning strike, smelled smoke and called 911.

When fire crews arrived flames were leaping from the attic, and it was clear the fire was advancing. Firefighters mounted an inside attack but were quickly forced to turn back.

Eventually four of five fire stations in Maple Grove were called in, as was mutual aid from Plymouth. Damage to the roof and upper floor of the home is described as "significant," although Chief Anderson could not provide a damage estimate. There is also water and smoke damage.

The Chief says it will be months before the home is habitable.

The good news in this case is that everyone inside was able to escape safely, a situation that doesn't always happen in lightning fires. "Sometimes with lightning fires there's a delay in reporting the fire," explained Anderson. "People aren't aware their house was struck. They heard it but weren't aware it was necessarily their house."

"This time they could smell the smoke right away, and called right away."

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