Lightning Likely Sparked Hoover Blaze

Summer  storms have recently brought much needed rain to drought stricken areas in Alabama.  Along with the welcome rain, however, these same storms  bring lightning that can spark fires not only in parched vegetation, but in the homes of Alabama residents as well.

Firefighters from Hoover believe that the cause of a fire that destroyed four units in the Autumn Wood Apartments was likely  started by lightning.  The blaze displaced two dozen residents and sent one woman and one firefighter to the hospital. 

There were also two other lightning-related fires in the area, stated Hoover Fire Lt. Rusty Lowe.  Lowe said that  the area sustained a fairly big hit from the storm.

When firefighters reached the apartment complex about 5:30 a.m., flames were already shooting through the roof.  The residents of the complex had been evacuated before firefighters arrived on the scene.  Unfortunately, although the fire was brought under control in thirty minutes, one firefighter was taken to the hospital for heat exhaustion.  Lowe did state that the firefighter was being treated and should be released shortly.

A resident of the apartment was also taken to a local hospital after complaining of smoke inhalation. 

The Red Cross is assisting residents who were displaced by the blaze. 

Although the fire remains under investigation, Lowe said that he believes lightning was the culprit.  “It was during the height of the storm and the residents heard a loud ‘boom’ shortly before they saw sparks coming from the electrical outlets.” 

The two other fires, according to Lowe, took place in homes on Shades Crest Road and in the Heatherwood subdivision and were also sparked by a lightning strike.