Lightning sparks Grattan Township barn fire

1:07 AM, Jul 16, 2013   |    comments
Scene of barn fire, 6300 blk of Corrigan Ave. NE, Grattan Township. (Photo by WZZM 13's Laurie Fey)
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GRATTAN TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WZZM) -- Fire crews say lightning caused a fire in a barn in eastern Kent County, and that weather was also a factor in fighting the fire.

Crews received the call to the fire in the 6300 block of Corrigan Avenue NE in Grattan Township around 12:10 a.m. Tuesday.  Initial crews on the scene issued a request for mutual aid from Belding and Cannon Township.

Firefighters believe lightning hit an electrical pole next to the barn.  Once the pole was on fire the flames quickly spread to the building.

The crews from neighboring communities were called in because of the warm temperatures and high humidity.

"They make fighting a fire a lot more difficult," says Lt. Andy Roberts with the Grattan Township Fire Department.  "We've got to rotate crews out to prevent them from getting heat exhaustion and heat stroke. That plays a huge toll in fighting fires like this."

No one was injured in putting out the fire, which destroyed the 60' by 40' barn.  Crews say the property owners lived elsewhere, and the home near the barn was vacant.

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