Ky. fire station struck by lightning
Daviess County Fire Department fire station was struck by lightning Tuesday evening and caught fire
By James Mayse
Messenger-Inquirer, Owensboro, Ky.
OWENSBORO, Ky. — The Daviess County Fire Department fire station on Kentucky 54 was struck by lightning Tuesday evening and caught fire, forcing firefighters out of the building and into temporary quarters.
The fire was extinguished, but East Station firefighters will be moving into another facility for the time being.
Paul Nave, director of Owensboro-Daviess County 911, said the call was received at 6:38 p.m. Tuesday that the building had been struck by lightning and was on fire.
Firefighters from several volunteer fire departments were called to the scene, and the others were called on second alarm as a precaution, Daviess County Fire Chief Dwane Smeathers said.
"They said it sounded like the building exploded," Smeathers said. "Sparks were flying out of the electrical outlets."
Firefighters pulled the fire engine out of the bay and then made entry into the attic.
"The attic was heavily involved with fire," with temperatures between 800 and 900 degrees, Smeathers said.
Units from the Philpot, Masonville and Thruston fire departments responded along with other DCFD units from the Airport Station, and Whitesville firefighters were called out as a precaution, Smeathers said.
By 7:10 p.m., the fire was considered under control.
"We've got quite a bit of damage in the attic," Smeathers said. "There's a lot of heat and water damage in the living quarters."
Firefighters from the paid crews and the volunteer stations converged on the scene to help, Smeathers said, adding that he had already heard from friends in the fire service from as far away as Alaska.
"I've been around for a lot of years and dealt with people who have had to deal with fires, and I've felt for them," Smeathers said. "But you never know how it really feels. It's our home. It's tough."
Smeathers said the plan Tuesday night was to move into a temporary space at one of the volunteer fire departments and then "set up a little bit more permanent home" on Wednesday.
"Thank God nobody was hurt," Smeathers said. "The building can be replaced."
Despite the fire, Smeathers said the department was organizing to be ready to respond to calls for service.
"Right now, I'm just trying to (be ready to) catch the next run, if we need to," Smeathers said. "People are still going to need our help."
James Mayse, 270-691-7303, email@example.com, Twitter: @JamesMayse
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