Lightning from a passing storm early Friday morning is believed to have triggered a fire that destroyed an old house used for storage, belonging to Wayne Bates, at 1437 Jefferson Road. The blaze also came dangerously close to catching on fire a trailer home some thirty feet away, where Bates and his wife were sleeping.
Central dispatch received the call 1:02 a.m.
County Fire Chief Donny Green said a neighbor across the road spotted the fire and alerted Mr. and Mrs. Bates, who had been sleeping. The Bates' escaped unharmed, but the fire had already started melting the vinyl siding of the trailer. The heat became so intense that it even melted window blinds in the trailer.
According to Chief Green, the fire had engulfed the old storage house by the time firefighters arrived, and high winds from the storm were blowing the flames toward the Bates' trailer.
Although the storage house, which contained a few tools and some canned food products, was lost in the blaze, the trailer home was saved with only minimal exterior damage.
Members the Keltonburg, Short Mountain Highway, Belk, and Blue Springs Stations responded along with the DeKalb County Sheriff's Department and DeKalb EMS.