A 100-year-old residential structure was severely damaged in a Tuesday afternoon fire, likely caused by a lightning strike, according to Somerset Fire Chief Tyler Jasper.
The building is located at 205 West Columbia Street in Somerset. Jasper said no one was living in the home, and he believed it was being used only as storage for a next-door office.
While no injuries were reported, Jasper said it took the efforts of nine on-duty Somerset Fire Department personnel and 23 off-duty or mutual aid responders to knock down the fire.
Mutual aid came from Ferguson, Science Hill, Nancy, and Parkers Mill volunteer fire departments as well as the Somerset-Pulaski County Rescue Squad. A Somerset-Pulaski County EMS unit was on scene as a stand-by.
SFD was paged at 2:18 p.m. and arrived shortly before 2:30 p.m. The scene was cleared at 5:12 p.m.
Jasper said that witnesses heard a "pop" before seeing smoke come from the roof of the building. He noted that a major storm with lightning was moving through the area at the time - a storm that firefighters had to deal with while on scene.
The age and construction of the building and roof made the fire difficult to get to, Jasper said.
"Given the type of house and where the fire was, it's not unusual" to require that much manpower to work on scene, he said.
"It went well," he added. "It was a good effort by the whole group. It went as well as it could, especially given the environmental conditions."
Jasper said that the building appeared to be stable structurally, but there was heavy damage to the roof and major damage from the water and foam used.
An inspection would need to be conducted to determine whether the structure is usable.