Fighting Structural Fires During Lightning Storms

Issue 2 and Volume 170.

By MICHAEL J. BARAKEY On March 29, 2016, three Boca Raton, Florida, firefighters were injured after lightning struck near them while working a house fire that was ignited by lightning.1 “They were bending over to bring the water hose from the back of the house to the truck, and that’s all they remember,” recalls Boca Raton Fire Rescue Public Information Officer Mike Lasalle. “We’re not sure if it hit them or the ground first; but, in my opinion, it must have hit near them. Direct hits usually end badly.” Two of the firefighters’ injuries were considered minor, Lasalle says, but the third firefighter was treated for more serious injuries at a local hospital. (1) (1) The first-arriving officer transmitted a “working fire” with smoke and fire showing from the roofline. (Photos 1-4 by author.) Lightning strikes cause many fires in the United States every year. During the period from 2007…

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