Lightning likely cause of fire at Stearns County home

The fire happened as storms pushed through Minnesota.
Publish date:
lightning fire

A lightning strike is believed to have caused a house fire in Stearns County on Tuesday as severe storms moved through Minnesota.

The owner of the home at 19607 County Road 40 in Farming Township was in his garage when he heard a loud bang and saw a bright flash out of an opened overhead garage door, a Stearns County Sheriff's Office news release says. He could smell smoke and noticed some siding on his house was melted.

The Stearns County Sheriff's Office responded to the fire at 2:47 p.m. and fire personnel extinguished the fire.

The fire was contained to the roof and ceiling, and there was heavy smoke and ceiling damage inside the house, the release said. No one was injured. 

Lightning strikes cause thousands of fires annually in the United States. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) says from 2007-2011, fire departments in the United States responded to an average of 22,600 fires annually that were started by lightning.

In 2014 (the most recent data available), 3,900 house fires were started by lightning, which caused 39 civilian injuries and $408 million in property damage, NFPA said in a 2017 report on lightning strikes and house fires

Next Up

minnesota state fair

Planning for the 2021 Minnesota State Fair is underway

The fair suffered huge financial losses due to COVID-19, but organizers are moving forward with planning "different scenarios" for this summer.

Screen Shot 2021-01-15 at 2.16.44 PM

Heather Brown named as new WCCO 'This Morning' anchor

She will be joining Jason DeRusha on the CBS affiliate's Morning Show.

DPS John Harrington

DPS Commissioner: No credible threats to state Capitol, but ready if something arises

Local and state law enforcement officials have a plan in case a threat arises.

snow, slush (submitted photo, ok to use)

Here are snow totals from Thursday-Friday winter storm

It's a slushy mess in the metro, but snow did pile up in southern counties.

tim walz

Walz fury after report that government's COVID vaccine reserve is nonexistent

The Washington Post reported Friday that the Trump Administration has shipped out all the vaccines it has already, with none in reserve.

closed sign

What's open and closed in Minnesota on MLK Day 2021?

Local government offices will generally be closed on Monday.

BMTN 900x450 (8)

Company that falsely promised student loan forgiveness banned from MN

It's also been ordered to repay $11,499 in fees taken from Minnesotans.

covid-19, coronavirus

Here is Minnesota's COVID update for January 15

Hospitalizations are the lowest in Minnesota since October 25.


Osterholm: B117 COVID strain could become major issue in 6-8 weeks

The B117 variant is believed to be more easily transmitted.

General Mills

General Mills halts donations to Republicans who voted to block Biden win

Two Minnesota representatives voted against certification of results in Arizona and Pennsylvania.


Lightning strike causes fire, guts Woodbury home

Fortunately, the homeowner was out of town.

Lightning strike suspected in house fire near Prior Lake

It happened as thunderstorms passed through Minnesota on Wednesday.


In Stearns County, two grass fires in three days

As a driver tried to rev his way out of a ditch for over an hour, the grass caught on fire

Screen Shot 2019-12-27 at 11.05.55 PM

Fire at junk yard causes $800,000-worth of damage

Someone staying in a camper nearby raised the alarm.

Screen Shot 2020-03-23 at 10.10.41 AM

Minnesota man hears 'boom' and then finds shed on fire

The property owner heard a boom and found the fire Saturday afternoon.

chaska fire

Youth hockey league raises $60K for Chaska family who lost home in a fire

The family got out safely, but their dog died in the fire.