Lightning Causes Fires, Storms Delay & Cancel Events

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ST. LOUIS, MO (KTVI) – Sunday night’s storms kept fire crews busy, Cardinals fans waiting, and theatre fans sent home early.

The Jennings Fire Department rushed to a home on Switzer Avenue and Goodfellow Boulevard.  They got some help from St. Louis Firefighters. Lightning hit a house around 8:00p.m.  The house was vacant, but it had an antenna which was perfect for drawing lightning.

“The lightening apparently hit a radio or TV antenna at the top of the house, followed it down, and caught the attic on fire,” said Jennings Fire Captain Steve Sexton.  “We entered the building, we opened up the ceiling, we hosed the inside out, and the inside of the attic, and then used ventilation to put the fire out.”

St. Louis Fire crews got another call around 9:00p.m. Sunday.  The Factory Tire Outlet on North Broadway and Bremen was burning after what investigators believe was a lightning strike to the roof of that business.

“Lightening has a tremendous amount of energy. It releases it when it makes contact with items such as buildings,” explained St. Louis Fire Captain Dan Sutter.  “So it can release a lot of energy and cause a fire.”

There was still lightning in the area when firefighters had to raise their ladders to get to the roof, but they were able to keep any fire from spreading to the tires inside.

The storm brought a three-hour rain delay to Sunday’s Cardinals game at Busch Stadium. The stadium showed a weather radar loop on one of the big screens.  The Redbirds were eventually able to start that game up again. Unfortunately, the Cardinals lost the game.

Muny fans were not as lucky.  The final night of “Spamalot” was rained out, as well as other community activities across the area.

There was another worry on the horizon Monday morning.  Flooding could be an issue again if storms keep rolling in, and more rain could come later Monday as conditions are similar to what they were Sunday. Keep an eye out for storms popping up between 3:00-5:00pm Monday.

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