Rare summer storm keeps firefighters busy

August 25, 2011 5:05:33 AM PDT
Over our skies on Wednesday night, there was something we haven't seen in a long time -- lightning -- and along with it, some soaking rain. It's sweet relief in this historic drought.

The storms began in the early evening and emergency crews were busy responding to numerous fires, which may have been caused by lightning.

In a northwest Harris County neighborhood, firefighters say a house on Groveland Hills near Roland Canyon caught on fire around 8:30pm. The two homeowners weren't at home at the time, so they had to force entry. Most of the damage is to the second-story rooftop so firefighters believe the blaze was caused by lightning. They also rescued a dog in the house.

Two Cy-Fair volunteer firefighters were injured. One was transported after falling from a rafter; the second was being treated at the scene for some breathing issues.

"It's been pretty hectic for us. As soon as we saw the storm coming in, we made preparations. We had extra staff on hand. We went ahead and sent out a page and had everybody man their stations," said Robert Rasa with the Cy-Fair Volunteer Fire Department. "Most of our apparatus has been out on calls for anything from grass fires to transformer fires to lightning strikes on houses."

About six miles south of where the house fire was located, we also came across three palm trees on fire in someone's backyard. It also appeared to be caused by lightning.

Neighbors were concerned the blaze would spread to their homes so they were getting hoses from their back yards and doing whatever they could to put water on it. Fortunately, firefighters were able to extinguish the blaze before it spread.


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