Lightning believed to be cause of duplex fire - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Lightning believed to be cause of duplex fire

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CHATTANOOGA (WRCB) --  A severe thunderstorm passing through Chattanooga, Wednesday afternoon, had Chattanooga firefighters scrambling to numerous emergency calls throughout the city. 

The calls ranged from downed power lines to false alarms.  But a few were more serious, such as a duplex fire at 4701 Murray Lake Lane.

Nathan Shropshire told firefighters that as the thunderstorm passed overhead around 2:00 p.m., he heard what sounded like a powerful explosion at the rear of the duplex. Moments later he began to smell smoke.  He alerted his girlfriend and both got out of the apartment uninjured.

Firefighters say smoke was visible from the rear of the structure when they arrived on the scene.  Once inside, they located the fire and had it out in minutes. The fire was contained to the rear of the duplex, but there was smoke and water damage to other rooms.

The dollar loss was estimated at $30,000.

The family that lives on the other side of the duplex was reportedly away at the time. Volunteers with the American Red Cross were called in to provide assistance to the two families.

Firefighters say the fire was most likely caused by lightning.

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