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Firefighters worked to extinguish remaining hot spots at a house fire Tuesday in Woodbury. Bulletin photo by Mike Longaecker

Lightning strike destroys Woodbury home

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News Woodbury,Minnesota 55125 http://www.woodburybulletin.com/sites/default/files/styles/square_300/public/fieldimages/41/0612/firemanhookweb.jpg?itok=FyjAy7k0
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Lightning strike destroys Woodbury home
Woodbury Minnesota 8420 City Centre Drive 55125

By Mike Longaecker

Firefighters said a lightning strike was to blame this afternoon for a house fire that left a Woodbury home heavily damaged.

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The house, located at 2725 Leyland Trail, received major smoke and fire damage to its interior, Woodbury Fire Department Commander Greg Schlichting said.

No one was home at the two-story house at the time of the fire. Two adults were displaced as a result of the fire, Schlichting said.

He said firefighters were still checking to see if any pets were inside the house.

Two firefighters were treated on the scene for heat-related illness, he said.

Schlichting said the fire started after a lightning bolt went all the way through the house and exited out a gas meter.

That destabilized the gas line, and once fire from the lightning strike found the leaking gas, the fire intensified.

"That gave it a pretty good jump before our arrival," Schlichting said, noting that firefighters were on the scene within about four minutes.

Oakdale firefighters assisted; Cottage Grove provided EMS mutual aid.

Woodbury firefighters arrived on the scene after being called to a report of fire at Ecowater Systems, where callers reported seeing a column of fire visible from 494.

Investigation of the scene there revealed Ecowater workers had been attempting to empty gas from a tank by burning it off in the company's parking lot.

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Mike Longaecker
Mike Longaecker is the regional public safety reporter for RiverTown Multimedia. His coverage area spans St. Croix and Pierce counties. Longaecker served from 2011-2015 as editor of the Woodbury Bulletin. A University of Wisconsin-River Falls graduate, Longaecker previously reported for the Red Wing Republican Eagle and for the Forum Communications Minnesota Capitol Bureau. You can follow him on Twitter at @Longaecker
(715) 426-1072
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