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Lightning strikes displace nine in York City during Friday’s storms

Ron Musselman
York Dispatch
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Six adults, three children and three dogs were displaced Friday after separate lightning strikes hit a duplex and an apartment building in York City.

Fire Chief Chad Deardorff on Saturday estimated damages to the duplex at $65,000. He said the apartment building had no structural damage.

More:Crews on the scene at least two hours for York Township fire

The first lightning strike hit the duplex at 645-647 W. Philadelphia St. around 3:30 p.m. Friday, just as a thunderstorms moved in, Deardorff said.

“We had a small fire in the basement and it caught some of the wiring on fire, spread throughout the electrical wiring, then went vertical and then went horizontal on that property,” he said.

While crews were fighting that fire, the chief said, another lightning strike hit a nearby apartment building.

“While we were standing out front, the property at 643 W. Philadelphia St. actually took a direct strike of lightning with us standing 10 to 15 feet from it, so we ended up having two separate incidents on our hands,” Deardorff said.

Deardorff said a firefighter “got shocked pulling the aluminum siding off as the siding was energized. We evaluated him there. He was OK.” He said power was terminated at all three properties. 

Two adults, three children and two dogs were displaced from 647 W. Philadelphia St. and three adults and one dog from the adjoining unit at 645 W. Philadelphia St., according to the chief. He said one adult was displaced from the apartment building.

The American Red Cross is assisting the displaced families, Deardorff said.

Meanwhile, another fire Friday in York Township also may have been caused by a lightning strike shortly after storms rolled through the area.

“Official cause is undetermined,” Yoe Fire Co. said in a Facebook post. “Possibly related to a lightning strike.”

The fire broke out just before 4 p.m. at a house in the 700 block of Connolly Drive, according to York County 911. Fire officials said they found smoke throughout the house and the homeowner and pets were found outside upon arrival.

A fire on Friday in York Township may have been caused by a lightning strike shortly after storms rolled through the area, fire officials said.

“A fire was found in the floor joists between the basement and first floor,” fire officials said.  

No damage estimate was available. York County 911 supervisors said the Red Cross was assisting the family.

— Ron Musselman can be reached at rmusselman@yorkdispatch.com or via Twitter at @ronmusselman8.