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Lightning strike sparks Shelburne house fire

Recorder/David Rainville
The house at 220 Colrain Shelburne Road in Shelburne was set aflame after lightning struck a nearby tree Wednesday evening.

Recorder/David Rainville The house at 220 Colrain Shelburne Road in Shelburne was set aflame after lightning struck a nearby tree Wednesday evening.

SHELBURNE — A single-family house was set ablaze when lightning struck a nearby tree Wednesday evening.

“My mom and I went out to pick up my friend, and when we came back, the whole side of the house was on fire,” said William Breor, 21. “I think it was started by lightning; there’s a tree out back that was split down the middle.”

Breor lives with his mother, Laurie Breor, in the house at 220 Colrain Shelburne Road. William Breor said he’s lived there his entire life.

Firefighters confirmed the Breors’ assumption.

“A tree to the northwest of the house was struck by lightning, and it dug across the ground, and started a fire in the attic,” said Terry Dun, public information officer for the Northwestern Massachusetts Incident Management Team.

Firefighters brought in tanker trucks of water, which they mixed into fire suppression foam.

“They got the fire under control quickly, it was a good stop,” said Dun.

By 6:30 p.m., firefighters turned their efforts to overhaul. They tore at the house’s walls, checking for hot spots in the insulation, said Dun.

The Breors were safe, as well as their cat, which was found after the fire, said Dun.

Several fire departments responded to the first-alarm fire. Dun said many of them had called in extra firefighters, due to tornado and severe thunderstorm warnings issued by the National Weather Service Wednesday.

Crews from the Shelburne Center, Shelburne Falls, Colrain, Buckland, and South Deerfield fire departments were called to the scene, and crews from Ashfield and Halifax, Vt., covered the Shelburne Center and Colrain fire stations.

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