A fire caused by a lightning strike early Thursday morning northwest of Lawrence caused heavy damage to a vacant house, said H. Wayne Riley, chief of Lecompton Fire/EMS.
The home, in the 800 section of 1850 Road, is just north of the Lecompton interchange on the Kansas Turnpike. A passerby called in the fire about 4:15 a.m.
Riley said fire investigators determined a lightning bolt struck a tree. It then transferred to a gutter and downspout and into the house, damaging the kitchen and an upstairs bedroom. Firefighters Thursday were still trying to determine the amount of damage the fire caused.
When firefighters arrived, flames were visible on the first and second floors on the back side of the house, according to Operation 100’s Mike Frizzell, the Journal-World’s reporting partner.
Kanwaka and Wakarusa township crews also assisted with the fire.
About two hours before the vacant house fire, Clinton Township fire crews and other departments responded to a barn fire at 2:25 a.m. in the 500 section of North 1200 Road near Clinton Lake, Douglas County Undersheriff Steve Hornberger said.