Lightning strike starts apartment fire in Granite City

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(Source: Rebecca Roberts, Twitter)

(Source: Rebecca Roberts, Twitter)

GRANITE CITY, IL (KTVI) - A lightning strike from Thursday night’s thunderstorms sparked a fire at an apartment complex in Granite City.

Both Granite City police and fire departments responded to the fire, which occurred in the 2000 block of Pontoon Road.

At about 7:30 p.m., witnesses said a lightning bolt hit the top of a neighboring apartment building and the chimney exploded.
Bricks flew across the parking lot, all the way into a neighbor’s window.

Carelene Hammond was in the basement when she heard the crash.

“I was afraid to come upstairs. And when I did come upstairs, there was glass all over there, and I think it hit my piano there, too,” she said. “And all the bricks that came inside are right there outside by the hedges.”

Police confirmed lightning hit one of the center apartments.

When the fire broke out, witnesses knocked on these residents’ doors to make sure they got to safety. Although residents were home at the time, no one was injured.

According to Granite City Fire Department Shift Commander Dave Jenkins, smoke quickly began to billow after the lightning struck. The attic filled with smoke. He said the two-story four-family apartment building is a total loss, because firefighters had to drench the attic to keep the flames from reigniting.