Lightning blows hole in roof, causes fire

Published: Wednesday, April 24, 2013 2:21 p.m. CDT

BERWYN – Lightning struck a Berwyn apartment and business building, blowing a hole in the roof and causing a fire at 4:53 p.m. April 17.

Flames were seen coming from the roof of the building at 3214 S. Grove Ave. and police evacuated store occupants at Urban Mutt, 3214 S. Grove Ave., and Classic Hair Design Salon, 3212 S. Grove Ave.

Fire Chief Denis O’Halloran said the lightning caused a fire in the attic space, causing heavy smoke that obscured visibility on the Burlington Northern Santa Fe tracks along Stanley and Windsor roads.

“It actually blew pieces of roofing on to Grove Avenue,” O’Halloran said.

O’Halloran said while the lightning strike created a considerable sized hole in the roof, firefighters needed to peel away the majority of the roof to make sure the blaze was extinguished.

Besides the damage created by the lightning strike and the fire, the Urban Mutt store sustained water damage.

Fire departments from North Riverside and Stickney assisted Berwyn firefighters.

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