Washington Fire Chief Bill Halmich said Washington fared well in Wednesday night’s storm, with two reports, both of possible structure fires.
Both calls were received within minutes of each other.
“It was a good test to the system and everything worked fine,” Halmich said.
At about 7:20 p.m. a weather warning was received and stations were manned.
At 7:35, a call was received that was believed to be a lightning strike at a home on Cedar Lane. There was smoke in the residence, Halmich said.
A fire was found under the first floor in a crawl space. The cause of the fire appeared to be a dryer vent.
“With preliminary investigation, there is no way of tying the fire to a lightning strike,” Halmich said, noting that the strike caused the homeowners to look for possible problems.
Because the fire was in a crawl space, it was treated as a confined space fire, Halmich said. Damage was confined to floor joists and the crawl space.
Union was called for mutual aid, but the call was disregarded when responders discovered the cause of the fire.
Responders were on the scene for about an hour.
The second reported structure fire was at 615 Allis-Chalmers Road off Highway KK. Halmich said there was no damage to the building, but one electrical circuit was damaged.
Responders were on the scene for about 45 minutes, Halmich said.
“We were much more fortunate than the counties to the east,” he said.
Halmich reminded people to heed warnings and to have a plan.
“When tornado warnings are given, everyone should have a plan and execute that plan,” he said. “That was the issue in Joplin. Warnings were given and people didn’t heed the warnings.”
Power outages caused Crosspoint Christian and St. John the Baptist-Gildehaus schools, both in Villa Ridge, to cancel classes Thursday.