Storm sparks fire, causes damage

By Richard Greene | Published Saturday, March 16, 2019

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Weathering the Storm

WEATHERING THE STORM – Firefighters from Boyd, Paradise, Newark, Rhome and Cottondale fought a blaze in the rain at a home in the 500 block of South Hitt Street Wednesday morning. Messenger photo by Richard Greene

Fire possibly sparked by a lightning strike tore through a home in the 500 block of South Hitt Street in Boyd early Wednesday morning.

Firefighters from Boyd, Newark, Paradise, Rhome and Cottondale battled the blaze during a steady downpour on the back side of the fast-moving storm that caused damage throughout the county and knocked out power to nearly 500 residents.

Wise County Fire Marshal Jeff Doughty said the lone occupant of the home heard what sounded like a gunshot and glass breaking.

“She looked around the house, and when she walked by the pull-down hatch for the attic, she noticed light coming from the attic,” Doughty said. “It confirms my suspicion that it was a lightning strike.”

Blown Over

BLOWN OVER – Rhome resident Allen Boatman’s Cesna 150 was totaled after high winds sent the plane flipping end-over-end Wedneday morning. Messenger Photo by Austin Jackson

The fire was reported around 5 a.m. Boyd Fire Chief Chris Caster reported the fire was knocked down around 6:15 p.m.

While firefighters battled the blaze, reports came in from across the county of other damage from the storm. The National Weather Service in Fort Worth issued a severe thunderstorm warning for Wise County at 4:15 a.m. until 4:30 a.m. as the storm rolled through with possible 60 mph winds.

A tractor-trailer turned over on its side on U.S. 81/287 near County Road 4221 at the height of the storm. The two occupants were out of the vehicle with minor injuries when first responders arrived.

A RV on Singing Meadows Lane in Rhome overturned with a man in his 60s inside. He reported he was not injured.

A plane was also flipped over on Red Baron Court near New Fairview.

Limbs were reported down from Lake Bridgeport to Rhome and Newark due to the powerful wind gusts.

Oncor spokesperson Sabrina Easley said the winds damaged lines causing power outages for approximately 400 customers in areas around Chico, Decatur, Lake Bridgeport, Paradise and Runaway Bay. Power was restored to all Wise County customers by 8 p.m.

Wise County Electric Co-op reported 73 customers without power around Chico and nine near Rhome Wednesday morning.

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