Lightning strike damages rural Sparta home
A lightning strike from a severe storm that blew through the area Tuesday evening caused a fire at a rural Sparta house.
According to Sparta Area Fire District Chief Mike Arnold, firefighters responded to the scene at 15758 Hammer Road in the Town of Sparta where lighting started a garage on fire before spreading to the house.
The call came in at 7:06 p.m. The residents were home but evacuated the home safely. They reported that a tree fell on the garage roof, which was followed by a lightning strike that hit the garage. Firefighters were able to rescue several pets although one cat did not survive the fire, said Arnold.
He added that crews were hampered by heavy rain, which caused fire department tenders to get stuck in the driveway.
The garage was totally destroyed and the house sustained moderate fire and smoke damage. Arnold said the home is insured and the family is staying with relatives. Assisting the Fire Department were the Sparta Ambulance Service, Fort McCoy Fire Department, Monroe County Emergency Management and the Monroe County 911 Center.
Arnold said in a span of six hours, the Department responded to 13 calls for service for storm related damage in the Sparta area.