Chief: Lightning strike might have caused Fairview Twp. fire

A lightning strike might have caused a Fairview Township fire that displaced two people and brought dozens of firefighters out to assist.

Fairview Township Fire Chief Chris Weidenhammer said there are indications that the fire in the 1000 block of Silver Lake Road Tuesday, July 24, was caused by a lightning strike. 

The chief said fire officials from Dauphin and Cumberland counties came to assist in fighting the blaze. He estimated damage to the home at $250,000 and said it was a total loss.

Firefighters responded to a blaze in the 1000 block of Silver Lake Road Tuesday, July 24. Photo courtesy of Fairview Township Police.

Found fire: The chief said fire officials were on a water-related call about two miles from the fire around 3:45 a.m. when a firefighter saw the glow of fire coming from that direction.

When that fire official arrived, the home was ablaze. Even though crews spotted the fire before anyone called 911, firefighters couldn't save the home.

“Although we tried to make entry, it was impossible," Weidenhammer said, adding that fire officials had to do an exterior attack.

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The homeowners and their dog were on vacation during the time of the fire, so no one was hurt or inside at the time, according to the chief.

Weidenhammer said the home was at the end of a long driveway, so getting a water supply to the house was initially a problem. He said it took a few minutes to get tankers  situated with water, but he emphasized that they still could not have saved the home, even during that time, because of the extent of the fire.

"it was fully involved," he said.

The chief said fire officials from Dauphin and Cumberland counties, and even as far as Dover, helped fight the early-morning blaze.

He estimated about 75 firefighters helped fight the fire, and it took about an hour and 15 minutes to have it under control. They were there for a few more hours doing overhaul, according to the chief.

No one was hurt fighting the fire.

— Reach Christopher Dornblaser at or on Twitter at @YDDornblaser.