Lightning during Thursday’s storm sparked a fire that caused extensive damage to a house near Sparta.
Chief Mike Arnold said in his 50 years with the Sparta Area Fire Department, he had never seen a lightning strike cause so much damage to a home.
No one was injured.
Firefighters were dispatched at 2:08 a.m. to a house at 4402 Hwy. 16 in the town of Sparta, where lightning caused a fire in several parts of the home.
The basement, the first floor and attic area were in flames, according to authorities, as well as an area where a TV tower was located near the house.
The occupants were outside in a nearby garage when the chief arrived.
According to officials, the occupants said they heard a loud noise followed by smoke detectors going off and then a power outage.
Crews extinguished the fires, ventilated the home and checked for hot spots, authorities said.
There was extensive damage done to the insured house, but residents found refuge with family, officials said.
The fire department was assisted by the Sparta Ambulance Service, Monroe County Sheriff’s Department, Xcel Energy and the 911 Dispatch Center.