Fernandina Beach Fire/Rescue Department
Ty Silcox, Fire Chief
August 10, 2020
At 10:27 PM on August 9th, 2020, units from the Fernandina Beach Fire Department, Nassau County Fire-Rescue, and the Fernandina Beach Police Department were dispatched to a single-family dwelling that had been struck by lightning during an extreme thunderstorm that produced large amounts of dangerous lightning. A call to the 911 center from a passerby reported the house had been struck, and that they could see flames through a window. Upon arrival, firefighters found heavy smoke and fire coming from the front of the one-story home. Florida Public Utilities was notified to disconnect power to the structure during the fire for the safety of those working at the scene.
Firefighters entered the structure through a side door and encountered heavy black smoke and fire conditions involving the front living space of the residence. Within five minutes of arrival on scene, firefighters began an aggressive attack on the fire and brought it under control within fifteen minutes. Firefighters conducted a search during the fire attack to ensure no residents were left in the structure. Damage was severe to the front of the structure and smoke damage was extensive throughout the remainder of the home. It is unknown if the structure can be saved, or if it will be a total loss.
Occupants were in the structure at the time of the fire, but evacuated before firefighters arrived. No civilian or firefighter injuries were sustained due to this fire. The American Red Cross was notified to meet with homeowners to address housing and personal needs. Upon investigation, the cause of the fire is suspected to be a lightning strike.