Fire breaks out at LBI house struck by lightning amid nor'easter

LBI fire-07032018-0002
Video shows flames engulfing the top floor of a Long Beach Island house after it was struck by lightning during the nor'easter.

Firefighters struggled to extinguish a blaze possibly caused by lightning that struck a Long Beach Island house as Wednesday’s nor’easter pummeled the shore.

Crews began responding to reports of a fire in the 900 block of Shore Avenue in the Ship Bottom section of the island around 2:10 p.m., said Wes Fritz, a Beach Haven Fire Company volunteer. Video of the fire showed flames and black smoke billowing from top floor windows of the multi-story residence across from the bay. Multiple fire companies and a rescue squad responded to the initial reports.

Heavy flooding on the island made it difficult for firetrucks to reach the home quickly, Fritz said. Firefighters had to wade through more than a foot of water in their stations and the streets, he said.

“The weather reports were terrible,” said Fritz, a firefighter for 44 years. “We were told we would have minor flooding. … We’re just extremely busy now.”

No one was injured as a result of the fire, said Fire Chief Rick Traut of the Ship Bottom Volunteer Fire Company. The  incident was under investigation by the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office and Ocean County Fire Marshall’s Office.

The rare ‘thundersnow’ — a thunder snowstorm mixed with lightning — caused problems elsewhere, too.

Thirty miles away, a 33-year-old teacher was struck by lightning while holding an umbrella around 2:30 p.m. outside of Manchester Township Middle School.

We encourage respectful comments but reserve the right to delete anything that doesn't contribute to an engaging dialogue
Help us moderate this thread by flagging comments that violate our guidelines

Comment policy: comments are intended to be civil, friendly conversations. Please treat other participants with respect and in a way that you would want to be treated. You are responsible for what you say. And please, stay on topic. If you see an objectionable post, please report it to us using the "Report Abuse" option.

Please note that comments are monitored by staff. We reserve the right at all times to remove any information or materials that are unlawful, threatening, abusive, libelous, defamatory, obscene, vulgar, pornographic, profane, indecent or otherwise objectionable. Personal attacks, especially on other participants, are not permitted. We reserve the right to permanently block any user who violates these terms and conditions.

Additionally comments that are long, have multiple paragraph breaks, include code, or include hyperlinks may not be posted.

Load comments