Fargo garage catches fire after lightning strike; crews use chainsaw to gain entry

FARGO — A fire broke out at a twin home in south Fargo Monday morning, Sept. 9, after lightning reportedly struck the garage.

At about 11:45 a.m. firefighters responded to a fire call at 2528 Amber Valley Court S. Officials said nobody was in the home at the time, and the fire was contained to the garage.

Crews said they had to cut open the garage door with a chainsaw to gain access to the area.

Battalion Chief Dane Carley said in a news release the fire was mostly knocked down within five minutes of the first engine’s arrival, but couldn’t be completely extinguished until Cass County Electric Cooperative arrived and shut off the power meter.


Carley said neighbors told firefighters that that one of the next-door residents worked from home and might be inside, prompting crews to search the unit. No one was found inside.

Officials said that while there was smoke damage to the impacted unit, there was no damage done to the attached home. However, the next-door neighbor received quite a shock when the lightning struck.

"I was just typing on my computer, and all of a sudden a big flash of light came through the window and my hands got shocked … just a really big pop," said Hannah LeTexier. "It was really scary to see. I haven't seen anything like that before."

Chris LeTexier said there was a “huge pulse” when the lightning struck and that “it lit up like it was the Fourth of July.”

Battalion Chief Carley said the cause of the fire is still under investigation and that the estimated cost of damage to the home is $20,000.

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