Detroit Lakes house fire caused by lightning likely total loss

Detroit Lakes Fire Department was alerted to the call just after 6 p.m. Wednesday.

A Detroit Lakes home severely damaged by a fire, which was caused by an evening lightning strike Wednesday.
Detroit Lakes Tribune

DETROIT LAKES, Minn. — According to the Detroit Lakes Fire Chief, the Wednesday house fire started by a lightning strike will likely be a total loss.

Although, he added there is no official damage estimate yet.

The Detroit Lakes Fire Department got a page for the fire just after 6 p.m. after lightning struck the roof, starting a fire in the attic.

They initially had crews inside, but they had to be pulled out as the fire was spreading too fast. Because of the high winds and lightning, the ladder truck could not be used.

Chief Ryan Swanson said when lighting strikes a home like it did Wednesday, there's not much you can do.


"When you think about it, it's a, it's a lot of a ball of a fire, or it's a lot of energy load right at that time... and something's going to have to take the blunt of that energy," said Swanson.

Swanson also said it's the worst lightning fire he's seen, from a damage standpoint, since he's been with the department.

"Other ones have been, you know, a room and content or something like that where you can minimize the damage... where this is going to be, they're going to be displaced probably the whole summer," said Swanson.

Swanson said it debunks the standard thinking of "lightning strikes the highest point," as this house was at one of the lowest points in the neighborhood.

Ben Morris joined WDAY in June of 2021 as a news reporter. He grew up in southern New Hampshire, before he moved to Fargo. He majored in media communications and minored in marketing at the University of Toledo in Ohio.
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