Lightning strike extensively damages rural Sparta home
A Town of Sparta home sustained significant damage Thursday, April 11 after it was hit by lightning.
Sparta Area Fire District Chief Mike Arnold said his crew was dispatched to 4402 Highway 16 at shortly after 2 a.m. When Arnold arrived on scene the homeowners, Byron and Charlotte Schmitz, were outside in a nearby garage. They said they heard a loud noise followed by their smoke detectors going off and a loss power to the house.
Arnold said the lightning had traveled through the house igniting separate fires in the basemen, on the first floor and in an attic area. There also was a fire in an area where a TV tower was located on the west side of the house.
Crews extinguished the fires, ventilated the home and checked for hot spots. The home was extensively damaged and the owners are staying with family.
Arnold said in his 50 years on the fire department he had never seen a lighting strike cause that much damage to a home. He said the home is insured.
The fire department was assisted by the Sparta Ambulance Service, Monroe County Sheriff's Dept., Excel Energy and the 911 Dispatch Center.