The Loudoun County Combined Fire and Rescue System (LC-CFRS) responded to numerous calls for help during the evening hours of Thursday, June 16, 2022, due to the severe thunderstorm, which produced heavy rain and many lightning strikes. Below is information on three of the more significant incidents that LC-CFRS responded to during the storm.
Among the calls was a home on Athena Drive Southeast in Leesburg, where the homeowner reported smoke and gas alarms sounding after a lightning strike next to the house. LC-CFRS units arrived on scene and checked the home for hazards and damage. During the check, they located tripped circuit breakers in the panel. No hazards or damage was found, and the home was turned back over to the homeowner and power company.
Another call was for a smell of smoke in a townhouse on Allderwood Terrace in Ashburn. Arriving LC-CFRS units investigated and located an alarm sounding with smoke two townhouses down from the original caller. Units forced entry into the home, located and extinguished a small fire in the basement utility closet.
The Loudoun County Fire and Rescue Fire Marshal’s Office (FMO) has determined the townhouse fire originated inside a basement utility closet because of a lightning strike on the exterior of the structure. Damage is estimated at $30,000. There were no reported injuries to civilians or firefighters. One person was displaced due to the fire and are being assisted by the Red Cross and their insurance company.
The FMO is still investigating the cause of a fire on Wolver Hollow Lane in Middleburg, a caller reported smoke in the home coming from behind the water heater. LC-CFRS units arrived to find smoke in the home and located a small fire in an exterior wall behind a water heater. Units opened the wall and extinguished the fire. No injuries to civilians or firefighters were reported.
These were only three of the many calls that LC-CFRS responded to during the severe thunderstorm. June 16th’s storm emphasized the importance of having smoke alarms and a home escape plan. At the first sign of smoke or fire get out of the home, go to your meeting place, and call 9-1-1. Fire is not always visible and can spread quickly. The Loudoun County Combined Fire and Rescue System encourages residents to take a few moments to practice their home escape plan and to check that smoke alarms are installed and working properly. If you’re not sure if your home is protected, visit www.loudoun.gov/smokealarms or call 703-737-8093 to access our free smoke alarm resources.