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Violent lightning strikes cause fires at several area homes

By Philip Anselmo

A severe thunderstorm pounded Batavia and other parts of the county this morning, according to the Daily News. Lightning strikes hit hard and may have caused at least three house fires in Alabama, Stafford and Byron.

Several fire departments responded to reports of a fire at 2634 Batavia-Oakfield Townline Road in Alabama around 8:30am. East Pembroke Fire Chief Bob Yungfleisch told The Batavian that the fire was contained to the laundry room and part of a back room that was in the process of being remodeled. While lightning was the cause of the fire, no bolts actually struck the home, he said. Instead, lightning struck outside of the house causing a power surge that shorted an electrical line running to an inside wall. Two children were home at the time, though no one was hurt.

"The fire was contained within about 20 minutes," said Yungfleisch. "There was damage from the fire, but nothing was destroyed, nothing that can't be fixed."

Yungfleisch estimated repairs at about $5,000, though they could be less, he said.

The Batavian has calls in to the other departments to find out more information about the fires in Stafford and Byron, neither of which were believed to have been serious, according to emergency personnel. We will relay any more information as it becomes available.

The Daily News also reports that LeRoy's Village Hall was without power for a spell this morning. The Batavian heard reports, too, that the campus of Genesee Community College was also without power for a time this morning.

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