Tuesday, July 17, 2012
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CONYERS -- A severe thunderstorm that moved through east metro Tuesday afternoon is believed to be the culprit in a structure fire on Lou Drive.
Rockdale Fire and Rescue Firefighter Michael Morris said the cause of the fire has not been determined, but a lightning strike is suspected. Morris said three other fire calls went out after the afternoon storm, but the one on Lou Drive was the only one confirmed.
In addition to the fire, Morris confirmed that the Rockdale County 911 tower was struck by lightning, but remained in operation.
"They were still dispatching like they normally do," Morris said.
The Lou Drive fire was initially reported as a woods fire in Harvest Grove Apartments, Morris said. The caller advised that they could see smoke but no flames.
Firefighters determined that the fire was actually on Lou Drive, which backs up to the apartment complex, Morris said.
"Engine 3 was the first to arrive, and they had heavy fire showing," Morris said. "The fire was contained in the back part of the house where the kitchen is and in the bonus room."
Morris said three engines, a ladder truck, a squad car and a battalion responded to the blaze.
"We were able to get the fire under control within 15 to 20 minutes of getting to the scene," he said.
The residents were not at home at the time, Morris said, adding that no firefighters were injured in the incident.