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Lightning causes early-morning Woodbury fire

An early morning lightning strike caused a hosue fire on the 9400 block of Wentlock Road in Woodbury Tuesday, May 16. Photo by Woodbury Public Safety via Twitter. 1 / 2
A Woodbury home on the 9400 block of Wentlock Road has been declared unlivable following a lightning fire early Tuesday, May 16. Scott Wente / RiverTown Multimedia.2 / 2

Firefighters have declared a Woodbury home unlivable after extinguishing an early-morning fire caused by a lightning strike early Tuesday morning.

The Woodbury Fire Department received a call around 4:30 a.m. and arrived minutes later to flames stretching out of the roof at 9461 Wentlock Road.

A team of 43 firefighters from the Woodbury and Cottage Grove fire departments extinguished the flames in about 40 minutes.

No injuries were reported.

Authorities said the homeowner had been out of town for business, and the house was unoccupied when the fire started.

Woodbury Fire Commander John Wallgren said lightning is not an uncommon cause of fires throughout the area.

He estimates his department responds to "several" lightning fires each year.

Although Wallgren said the larger homes and higher elevation of east Woodbury can play a role in where lightning strikes, they are not uncommon in other parts of the community.

The May 16 fire was "a two-story home in the colby lake area, which is pretty protected by trees," Wallgren said. "Lighting has no mind, it just goes."