Lightning spurs blaze near propane tank

MANISTIQUE TOWNSHIP – A fire threatening a Manistique home Monday night was extinguished by firefighters who determined the blaze was caused by a lightning strike earlier in the day.

Neighbors alerted 9-1-1 Central Dispatch of a fire at 6996 Smith Lake Drive, owned by William and Linda Cregg of downstate Alpena. No one was home when the fire started, said Manistique Public Safety Director Ken Golat in a news release this morning.

Upon arrival, firefighters saw a large fire burning next to a 500-pound propane tank, endangering the nearby home. Firefighters immediately turned off the tank and put out the blaze. The fire did not damage the structure.

“Investigation determined that the fire was caused by a lightning strike,” stated Golat.

“The lightning struck the ground or large maple trees located next to the propane tank, severing the feed line to the home and igniting a fire which burned underground and eventually spread to the trees next to the tank and home,” he explained.

The lightning occurred during a storm which passed through the Manistique and Smith Lake areas Monday afternoon, said Golat. Firefighters were dispatched to the house fire at 10:02 p.m.

No injuries occurred while fighting the blaze. Manistique Public Safety was assisted at the scene by Sault Tribal Police and Hiawatha Township Volunteer Fire Department.