Vestal fire blamed on lightning strike
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VESTAL, N.Y. -- A late afternoon thunderstorm is to blame for a house fire in Vestal. Fire officials say it started after lightning struck a tree. The energy from the lightning then traveled through a fence below the tree and into an adjoining garage.
Flames spread to the attic of the house at 3612 Pinecrest Road, which suffered heavy smoke and water damage.
Crews from Endwell and Endicott helped contain the fire and no one was hurt.
Officials say it was a bizarre scenario that led to the fire, but illustrates how dangerous storms can be.
"Conditions just happened to be right. You'd think it would ground to the ground, the fence is grounded, so on and so forth, but there's a tremendous amount of energy in lightning and it's not real predictable," said Vestal Fire Assistant Chief Douglas Rose.
Officials also say the fire serves as a reminder to stay clear of windows and doors during storms.