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Lightning strike causes fire at Daviess Co., Ky. fire station

Updated: Jul. 3, 2019 at 8:41 AM CDT
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DAVIESS CO., Ky. (WFIE) - Firefighters in Daviess County, Ky. had to fight a fire at their own station.

The county’s east station, near Country Heights, was hit by lightning around 6:40 Tuesday night, which then caused a fire.

Daviess Co. Fire Chief Dwane Smeathers says one of the firefighters was shutting the station door when the lightning stuck.

“The lightning struck and there was an outlet box and I saw a spark come off it," Firefighter Jonathan Heath said. "I was the only one out there so I went out there so I went in and was like ‘o my gosh, better check this out.’”

They say the firefighters then started looking for signs of a fire and noticed haze coming from the kitchen.

While in the kitchen, the firefighters went to check the attic, but when they pulled down the attic’s drop down ladder “the kitchen immediately went black” with smoke.

Chief Smeathers said most of the fire was in the attic, so they had to move their trucks outside to fight the fire.

“When we got in that attic, I knew I wasn’t coming down until we found it and got it out," Heath said.

“They made a great stop," Smeathers said. "They really stopped this fire fast. I’m very impressed. But I’m impressed with my guys everyday.”

But today as the crew assess the damage, the emotions were raw as many of them helped build the station 15 years ago.

“You know we grouted the floors, we laid the tile," Lt. Charlie Rafferty said. "We built this place. And to be here was pretty tough.”

And for the Smeathers, he says if his crew hadn’t been there, this station wouldn’t be standing. He says it brings them new perspective.

“I was in total shock," he said. "I’ve been in the fire service for over 30 years and I’ve always felt and sympathized with anyone who loses their home or a property on a fire, but it really kind of sets in when it happens to yourself.”

We’re told the firefighters were able to get the fire out and save the station, but Smeathers says they can’t use the use the building right now due to heavy smoke and water damage in the living quarters.

Smeathers says the station crew has been relocated to Thruston.

No one was hurt.

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