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Lightning strikes house and sets it on fire in Calgary

Monday, September 2nd 2019, 1:59 pm - The two residents escaped unharmed.

A home in northwest Calgary was damaged Monday morning after a lightning strike sparked a fire.

Two people in the home, both adults, escaped unharmed around 2:15 a.m. MT from the home in University Heights, the Calgary Fire Department said.

"Everybody got out fine because it just hit the roof, so the rest of the structure was fine," Battalion Chief Stu Laird said. "Largely the fire was in the attic. Our crews put that out."

The fire destroyed part of the roof and travelled into the home's electrical wiring, frying it, he said. A nearby tree also burned.

cbc lightning Calgary Fire Department firefighters worked for hours to ensure all hot spots were extinguished after a lightening strike caught a house on fire on Underhill Drive in University Heights. (Helen Pike/CBC)

The couple were renting the home on Underhill Drive. Their child had been away at a sleep-over that night, Laird said.

"It does happen when there's lightning overtop of the city. It will touch down," Laird said. "Sometimes it's very minor and sometimes it's more extensive."

The fire was brought under control quickly, officials said. Firefighters had the couple vacate their home for the night so officials could watch for any remaining hotspots. As of 9:15 a.m. MT, crews continued to monitor the scene.

A home inspector and fire investigator were also at the scene, assessing the damage and determining next steps.

Enmax also attended the scene to ensure the utility service was operating safely.

This article was originally published by CBC News.

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