An early Monday morning thunderstorm is being blamed for two building fires in Hall County and fallen trees in Dawson County.
Hall County firefighters responded to a call at around 2:39 a.m. in Oakwood. When firefighters arrived they found an old chicken house used for storage engulfed in flames. Firefighters had to clear an access road to reach the 200-foot-long building.
A lighting strike during the height of the storm is believed to have caused the fire.
Almost 15 minutes later, firefighters responded to a mobile home fire that caused $2,000 worth of damage on Baker Road. Firefighters found light smoke in the building and a spot on the floor behind a washing machine where wires were burned. The fire seems to have been caused by a lighting strike that caused the wires to short out in the crawl space.
Fire Chief David Kimbrell said fires caused by lightning aren’t unusual.
“Anytime we have that significant of a lightning strike, we typically have a fire started,” Kimbrell said.
He said a building’s location can increase the risk of being struck by lightning, but an electrician can provide homeowners with specific risks.
A number of trees in Dawson County were toppled, leading to at least one road closure overnight.
But crews had debris cleared and the road reopened by daybreak.
The storm dropped 0.85 inches of rain overnight. The rain didn’t affect the level of Lake Lanier much. The lake is still around 1,065 feet, six feet below full pool.
According to the National Weather service, there is a 30 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms before 2 p.m. today and a 20 percent chance of thunderstorms on Wednesday. The rest of the week is expected to be partly cloudy but sunny.