Officials: Pole barn fire believed to have started by lightning causes rocket-like explosion
Courtesy of CAFA
A fire that burned a pole barn to the ground Monday morning near Chelsea was likely caused by a lightning strike, officials said.
The blaze caused an explosion in the barn while fire crews were at the scene and sent a hydraulic cylinder shooting up into the air like a rocket, said Fire Captain Derek Klink of the Chelsea Area Fire Authority.
There were no reported injuries.
Chelsea fire crews were called to a residence in the 1100 block of Pierce Road in Sylvan Township at 8:01 a.m. for reports of a barn fire. A neighbor said they saw a bolt of lightning connect with the pole barn on an adjacent property, Klink said.
When fire crews arrived at 8:07 a.m., the pole barn was fully engulfed with flames. There was also a loud explosion followed by a hydraulic cylinder being launched into the sky, according to Klink.
"It shot straight up in the air," he said.
Crews had the fire out by 8:35 a.m. and cleared the scene by 10:21 a.m. The barn, which was filled with various tools and machinery, was a total loss. Klink did not yet have any financial damage estimates.
While lightning is believed to have started the fire, it remains under investigation.