Officials: Possible lightning strike caused condo fire in West Ashley

Source: Live 5 News
Source: Live 5 News
Source: Live 5 News
Source: Live 5 News

WEST ASHLEY, SC (WCSC) - Fire officials say a possible lightning strike caused a fire at a condo in West Ashley Monday afternoon.

The fire happened in the 100 block of  Ashley Villa Circle near Glenn McConnell Parkway.

According to the assistant fire marshal, there was no power in the neighborhood when the fire occurred.

Crews managed to contain the fire to the attic area of the building. The building was evacuated, and no injuries were reported.

"We thought the storm was over and I went over to my neighbor's to have a glass of wine," said June Palmer, who lives in a condo nearby."And I turned to her and said, 'Wow this is one heck of a sunset.'  And I turned around and went,'Holy crap! The house is burning!'"

"We're experiencing a lot of storms and lightning strikes recently," said Assistant Fire Chief Jason Krusen."So it's important if you think your house was struck, you want to thoroughly check all of the areas including the attic, and closed up areas including crawl spaces just to make sure."

According to CFD officials, emergency dispatch crews received multiple 911 calls shortly after 4 p.m. reporting a structure fire.

"The first unit arrived in less than 4 minutes from the time of dispatch and reported smoke and flames venting from the attic area of the single story, four unit, residential building," CFD officials said. Firefighters worked to search the units and verify everyone had evacuated while simultaneous commencing fire suppression operations."

A report states storms moved through the area 45 minutes before the incident and several homes lost power.

"The occupant returned home to discover the home was without power and noted a smoke odor inside and started searching for the source," CFD officials said.

Neighbors reported flames from the attic space and the occupant evacuated the structure.

"Investigators determined the fire originated within the attic space in the vicinity of a CSST (Corrugated Stainless Steel Tubing) gas line," CFD authorities said."At this time, it was not determined if the CSST gas line was directly involved, but the cause is believed to related to the severe weather event."

According to authorities, all five of the displaced residents have relocated to stay with family members.

Emergency personnel from Charleston, Saint Andrews, and North Charleston Fire Departments, Charleston County EMS and Charleston PD responded to the scene.

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