At approximately 10:35 AM on Friday, July 6, 2018, Lewes Fire Department received a dispatch for an automatic fire alarm activation at the Home Depot near Five Points. While this turned out to be a false alarm triggered by lightning associated with a slow moving thunderstorm, it was just the first of what would be several calls in a short period of time.
At 11:10 AM, LFD was dispatched to a working house fire in the Wolfe Runne subdivision. First arriving units found a house struck by lightning with fire showing on the B side. There was also a propane gas leak which further compounded the incident. The fire was quickly knocked down, and damage to the home was minimal.
During the overhaul stage of that fire, at approximately 12:05 PM, units were dispatched to a house fire in the Briarwood subdivision. Some of the units who had cleared the fire in Wolfe Runne were able to respond, while other assistance was provided by units who were helping with cover-ups. First arriving units found a small fire that was quickly extinguished.
At approximately 12:25 PM, units were dispatched to the Hawkseye subdivision for a house fire. Arriving units found a small fire in the basement which was quickly extinguished.
Responding units from Lewes included Engines 82-1, 82-2, 82-3, 82-5, and 82-9; Ladder 82; Rescue 82; Ambulances D-82 and E-82; and Command 82-8. Assistance was provided by Rehoboth Beach FD (86), Milton FD (85), and Indian River FD (80).
All of these incidents are believed to be related to the thunderstorm that also caused localized flooding in some low-lying areas. It is important for residents to remember that lightning-related fires may take time to develop and become noticed. If you believe your house was struck by lightning, or even was subject to a strike that was close by, inspect your home carefully for damage and be aware for any changes that could indicate the presence of a fire.