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Lightning strike destroys Woodbury home

Firefighters worked to extinguish remaining hot spots at a house fire Tuesday in Woodbury. Bulletin photo by Mike Longaecker1 / 3
Bottles of Gatorade probably never looked so good to a group of firefighters as they did Tuesday afternoon after battling a house fire amid high temperatures and tropical humidity levels. Bulletin photo by Mike Longaecker2 / 3
A firefighter cools down with a bag of ice Tuesday after battling a Woodbury house fire. Bulletin photo by Mike Longaecker3 / 3

By Mike Longaecker

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

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.

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

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