Lightning suspected in Wednesday fires

Lightning suspected in Wednesday fires

The Beaumont Fire Department was kept busy Wednesday, July 6, when thunderstorms rolled through the area.

The day started around 2:30 p.m. with an electrical fire in South Beaumont, but once the storms came through, firefighters were kept on their toes going from call to call due to lightning strikes in the city.

In the West end, a home owned by local dentist Dr. John Clinkscales Jr. in the Bellechase area received heavy damage to the upper floor and roof when it was ignited by lightning.

Not long later, firefighters were called out to the Stone Hearst apartment complex. The fire at the complex is suspected to have started from lightning and left 25 people from eight apartments without a place to stay. Those families were taken in and assisted by the Red Cross.

Target was also a destination for first responders when it too was struck. No fire was found, but an electrical surge did take place and smoke was detected to those inside causing an evacuation of the store while firefighters checked for flames. The only damage found was to the electrical system.