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Lightning strike triggers fire, destroys home in Washington County

Fire crews responded to the home in Grant, just north of White Bear Lake, after sheriff's officials say it was struck by lightning during last night's storm.

GRANT, Minnesota — A home in rural Washington County is now rubble following an overnight fire in the community of Grant. 

Sheriff's officials say a homeowner on the 11000 block of Great Oak Trail North called 911 just after 1 a.m. and reported hearing a bolt of lightning, followed by a strong smell of gas. Deputies responded and located a fire inside the residence. 

The two residents and their animals were safely evacuated with no injuries. 

A number of neighboring fire departments responded as the home is located in a district with no hydrants or high-flow water supply, and water to fight the fire had to be trucked in. 

Video from the scene at daylight showed that the roof on the structure had collapsed, and all that remained was a burned-out shell. The home is considered a total loss. 

The Washington County Sheriff's Office tweeted Wednesday morning that a lightning strike appeared to be the cause of the fire, a conclusion officially backed up by Mahtomedi Fire Chief Terry Fischer. As of 11 a.m. crews were still on scene putting water on the structure.

Mahtomedi firefighters were joined by crews from Hugo, White Bear Lake, Oakdale, Stillwater, Lake Elmo, Centennial, Lower St. Croix Valley, Scandia, Marine on St. Croix, Vadnais Heights, Forest Lake, Wyoming and Lino Lakes. 

If there is a positive to take from a grim situation, it's that homes in the area are spread out with large lots so no other houses were threatened by the fire. 

 

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