Fires Sparked by Lightning Keep VA, D.C. Firefighters Busy

Tower ladder stream aimed on roof fire at hotel
Photo courtesy Fairfax County Fire & Rescue Department
Tower ladder stream aimed on roof fire at hotel
Photo courtesy Fairfax County Fire & Rescue Department

As storms rolled through the D.C. area Tuesday and into the Northeast, some fires sparked by lightning kept fire crews in the region engaged, notably in Mt. Vernon and the District.

At approximately 1:13 a.m on Tuesday, July 7, 2020, units from Fairfax County Fire and Rescue and Fort Belvoir Fire and Emergency Services were dispatched for a reported hotel fire in the 8600 block of Woodlawn Court in the Mount Vernon area of Fairfax County.

Units arrived on scene to find a four-story hotel with fire evident from the roof. A second alarm was requested. Crews worked simultaneously to evacuate the hotel, which had approximately 108 occupants at the time, and extinguish the fire. The fire was contained to the roof. There were no reported firefighter or civilian injuries.

According to a release from the department, the cause of the fire was determined to be a lightning strike, which began on the parapet wall on the roof.

While thunderstorms raged in the area, D.C. Fire & EMS firefighters battled a fire in the 5500 block of Carolina Place NW. Firefighters managed to confined the fire to the attic area of a two-story, wood-frame home. There were no reported injuries, and the fire was determined to be caused by a lightning strike.

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