Pair of Lightning Strikes Hurt 2 Residents, Kill 4 Dogs
Donald Drive and Wilde Hollow homes both destroyed in Friday night fires.
Two Bridgewater homes—about 7 miles apart—were each struck by lightning Friday night, igniting fires that destroyed both structures, injured a resident and killed two dogs at each of the residences.
The first fire broke out at a Donald Drive residence Friday shortly after 4:30 p.m. According to Jim Vitale, chief of the Green Knoll Fire Co., the blaze was placed under control by about 5:30 p.m., and crews remained on the scene until 8 p.m.
A man, who was the only person home at the time, injured his hand in the blaze and was taken to Somerset Medical Center for treatment, Vitale said. Two of the family's dogs died in the incident.
The cause of the fire appears to have been a lightning strike, Vitale said.
At about the same time that late afternoon, a lightning also struck a Wilde Hollow residence in the Martinsville section of town.
One of the residents of the Wilde Hollow home said he and his roommate heard a loud bang at about the same time the fire began on Donald Drive. However, it took several hours before he and his friend realized what had happened when flames engulfed the home at about 7:30 p.m.
Fred Williams was awoken from a nap by his roommate and the two managed to escape the blaze. His 59-year-old housemate suffered burns and their two dogs were killed.
Williams said his friend was taken to Saint Barnabas Medical Center in Livingston, where he was in stable condition.
"I'm just thanking God," Williams said.
The Bridgewater Police Benevolent Association has started a fundraiser for the victims of the fires. Both houses were deemed total losses by local fire departments.