BREAKING: Lightning, fires accompany storms

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Knoxville firefighters battled a house fire in the midst of a driving storm Wednesday night. (Source: KFD)

A possible lightning strike and a fire that heavily damaged a house in North Knoxville kept firefighters busy Wednesday night. 

A series of strong thunderstorms rolled through Knox and surrounding counties overnight, leading to severe weather warnings, downed tree limbs and power outages.

“It’s busy,” said KFD Assistant Chief Mark Wilbanks just before midnight. “Mostly motor vehicle accidents, couple (of) trees down and a tree fire.”

Some of the strongest storms struck the Fountain City and Inskip neighborhoods, where crews from the Knoxville Fire Department were sent to investigate a possible structure fire at or near 5711 Sanford Road about 10:50 p.m.

“Initial calls to 911 reported that there had been several lightning strikes in the area and possibly a tree was on fire. An additional caller advised that there was a house possibly on fire at this location,” Wilbanks said.

“Upon arrival, Knoxville Fire Department discovered that the exterior portion of a home was on fire,” Wilbanks continued. “Members from the initial arriving companies were able to extinguish the fire quickly.”

The home sustained “significant damage” in the fire, but no one was home at the time of the fire and no injuries were reported. 

KFD investigators were trying to determine the cause, said Wilbanks. 

Published on August 3, 2022.