UPDATED: Several Fires Sparked By Lightning Overnight

By: Lynnette Taylor
By: Lynnette Taylor

Greenville firefighters confirm it was a lightning strike that caused an overnight apartment fire.

Five or the eight units at the apartment building on Cotanche Street were occupied.

The fire department says the lightning bolt struck a nearby tree and bounced off, hitting the building.

The American Red Cross provided food, clothing and vouchers for the fire victims.

The upstairs units received fire damage, while the first floor apartments had mainly water damage.


It's was a busy morning for firefighters in eastern Carolina Friday.

Massive amounts of lightning early Friday morning may be to blame for sparking four fires.

In the city of Wilson, dispatchers say a house on Queen Anne Road received cosmetic damage from a lightning strike just before 1:00am. And shed on Treemont road caught fire when it was struck by lightning, although the fire was out when they arrived.

In Greenville, Fires crew battled an apartment fire on Cotanche Street, near ECU Campus.

An eight unit apartment complex had to be evacuated just after 2am Friday when flames erupted. According to Greenville Fire Rescue, the top unit of the complex sustained heavy fire and smoke damage, while the first floor unit had water damage.

According to a Greenville police officer on the scene, He believes the fire started when lightning struck the attic, but fire investigators have not confirmed that.

We're told everyone was able to make it out safely.

In Winterville, A storage barn on Kennedy and Jones Streets was completely destroyed and two homes suffered minor damage by the flames.

Firefighters on the scene tell us lightning sparked off this blaze.

It took fire crews 45 minutes to get it under control.

They tell us there were no injuries, although a dog had to be rescued from near the barn.


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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by Stephanie Location: Greenville on May 8, 2009 at 12:06 PM
    It is important people take time to have their emergency plans in place, and supplies for at least three days. Be tuned into the weather so you can prepare safely.
  • by Anonymous on May 8, 2009 at 09:18 AM
    is there video?
  • by Sam Location: Williamston on May 8, 2009 at 09:02 AM
    This weather is rediculous for causing so much damage. I see the firefighters have sure stayed busy.
  • by Anonymous on May 8, 2009 at 07:05 AM
    Shocking!
  • by sam Location: farmville on May 8, 2009 at 05:45 AM
    What is going on with our weather lately? It is crazy. I am so glad the dog was rescued from the barn.
  • by ME Location: NC on May 8, 2009 at 05:24 AM
    I watched the lightning all around last night. I have NEVER seen that much lightning!! It was just one after another! Glad nobody was hurt!
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