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Lightning starts house fire

A house fire apparently triggered by lightning striking a house during a thunderstorm in Columbus Sunday caused an estimated $10,000 damage to the structure and $5,000 to the contents, said Chief Fire Marshal Thomas Streeter with Columbus Fire and Emergency Medical Services.

The call came in at 5:24 p.m. for a fire at 506 Avis Court in east Columbus, Streeter said Monday. Resident/owner Brenda Smith said her son heard lightning and a loud boom while they were watching television during the storm. A few minutes later he smelled smoke.

"It set off both smoke detectors," said Streeter. "The origin was around the chimney area. They never used the fireplace. The fire was contained to the living room area on the main floor where the fireplace is located. Lightning caused overheating and a current overload."

No one was reported injured and the fire was quickly brought under control, he said.

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