Fire bureau chases fires caused by lightning

A lightning strike during a storm on Friday, July 6, caused extensive damage to a home at 122 Royal Drive in Brick Township. PHOTO BY MARK R. SULLIVAN

BRICK TOWNSHIP — A lightning strike caused a structure fire on Royal Drive that displaced a family in the Cherry Quay section of the township Friday morning, according to the chief of the Brick Township Fire Bureau.

A call for service was received around 9:20 a.m. on Friday, July 6, after lightning struck the rear of 122 Royal Drive during a thunderstorm.

“122 Royal, the building department’s been notified and the building’s been posted as unsafe and the utilities were shut off to the home, so they’ll have to relocate,” said Fire Bureau Chief Kevin Batzel.

“A caller from across the lagoon saw flames and smoke coming from the back of the house,” Chief Batzel said.

He said that the fire was contained within 35 minutes, but the damage was serious.

“There was heavy fire damage to the rear of the house. It was struck by lightning, listed as the cause. The residents were inside, they were able to safely evacuate themselves and their pets and there were no injuries reported,” the chief said.

Another fire caused by a strike took place at 9 Sutton Drive in the Herbertsville section with all township fire departments responding to the blazes.

“There were no injuries in both of these. They were considered structure fires. They were both dispatched as general alarms, as working fires,” said Chief Batzel.

Calls for service regarding 9 Sutton Drive were received around 9 a.m. in the condominium complex Sutton Village. About 20 minutes later, the call for Royal Drive came in.

Chief Batzel said the homeowner on Sutton Drive heard a loud boom before neighbors came over to say the building was on fire.

“The fire was contained to the exterior common chimney chase, which appeared to be struck by lightning. The fire was in the attic area. There was minor water and smoke damage. She was allowed to return to her home,” said the fire bureau chief.

“The building department has been notified for posting. Sutton Drive was able to reestablish ownership,” he added.

According to the chief, the fire on Sutton Drive was contained within 20 minutes..

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