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Lightning likely to blame for house fire

Investigators: Witness confirmed seeing strike

POSTED: June 4, 2014 12:06 a.m.

WEST FORSYTH — Investigators have determined that lightning caused a fast-moving fire Friday afternoon that destroyed a home in far western Forsyth County.

While the house on Preserve Crossing Lane is likely going to be a total loss, Forsyth Fire Division Chief Jason Shivers said the family’s dog is expected to survive after being rescued by firefighters.

“We had to perform a search ... when we found him, we brought him outside, put him on oxygen and he started to come around and regain some level of consciousness and the family went to the vet with him,” Shivers said. “All indications were he was going to be fine.”

In addition to the dog, Shivers said firefighters were “able to salvage a significant amount” of the family’s possessions, including a car.

“We wanted to do everything we can to save valuables and obviously a family vehicle is a huge component and we were successful,” he said. “The fire damage and water damage was just too extreme to salvage the building, likely, but we were able to salvage many of their personal belongings and keepsakes,” he said.

According to county records, the Fieldstone Preserve subdivision home is about 2,900 square feet and has five bedrooms.

Shivers said the family was not there during the fire, but arrived home to find firefighters working to control the blaze.

According to Shivers, the response included five engines, two ladder trucks and at least 25 personnel, who kept the flames from spreading to other homes.

Cherokee County, which is about a mile to the west, also sent an engine truck to help with the blaze.

Two firefighters received minor injuries, according to Shivers, though both returned to work at their next shift Monday.

One firefighter, he said, was treated for exhaustion and dehydration, while the other suffered minor burns to his upper face and ears.

“They are both fine,” Shivers said.

Shivers said the investigators are confident the damage was caused by a lightning strike, which was supported by “a witnessed lightning strike from a neighbor.”



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