UPDATE: House Catches Fire During Storm
by Wes Mayer
A Newnan home was severely damaged Monday night by a fire which authorities believe was started by lightning.
Around 7:51 p.m., the Newnan Fire Department responded with 16 personnel in three engines to the home on 23 Belmont Park Lane. According to Battalion Chief Stephen Brown, firefighters arrived to find the home fully engulfed throughout the attic with heavy smoke and flames venting through the back of the structure.
Firefighters attacked the fire in the attic from the first floor, and were able to put it under control. The home suffered extensive damage to the attic, and the fire burned through the roof in three places.
The residents of the home were out of the country at the time of the fire and were contacted by authorities. The fire department received the call from a neighbor who heard a loud clap of thunder and saw the home’s roof was smoking.
Downed power lines, fallen trees and other possible lightning strikes from the storm were also reported.
According to Coweta County Emergency Manager Jay Jones, power lines were downed on the 500-block of Shaw Road, the 200-block of Sam Road, and near 4099 and 4549 Highway 29 North. Fallen trees were reported on 24 Lynhaven Dr., 24 Salbide Ave. and the 600-block of Bruce Jackson Road.
There was one residential and two commercial fire alarms reported to the Coweta County Fire Department, but no fires were found when personnel arrived on scene, Assistant Fire Chief Scott Harmon said. There were four residencies that reported lightning strikes, but there was only the smell of smoke at three of the homes, and 23 Belmont Park Lane was the only reported fire.
According to Harmon, CCFD performed a thorough investigation of a home on Merrill Way, but there was no evidence of fire. Firefighters did discover a light haze in the home’s basement, but determined the haze and the smell of smoke could have developed from the home’s heating, ventilation and air conditioning system.