Firefighters battle blazes during storm

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, March 31, 2004

Tuesday evening's thunderstorm brought more than rain and thunder.

A lightning strike was apparently to blame for an incident at Forth's Foodfair in Coal Grove.

"There was a lightning strike to a utility police in front of the store," said Chris Harmon, assistant chief of the Coal Grove Fire Department. "When the lightning hit the pole, it knocked out one leg of the store's electricity. When it did, it caused voltage in the store to drop and that burned up a motor in the ventilation system."

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Harmon said the store

did not sustain any damage other than the damage to the ventilation system's motor. A crew from American Electric Power

was called to assist in the incident. Perry Township Volunteer Fire Department supplied mutual aid.

People were in the store at the time of the incident, but Harmon said no one was injured.

A lightning strike was apparently to blame for a fire Tuesday evening at a residence on State Route 650 as well. Hamilton Township Fire Chief Mike Pearson said when the lightning hit a power line, it set the house's fuse box on fire.

Pearson said the lightning strike mainly created a lot of smoke. The name of the owner of the house was not immediately available.

The storm also dumped hail the size of peas in some areas. More rain

and the possibility of

thunderstorms are in the forecast for today.