Lightning strike catches Bluffton man's garage on fire

BLUFFTON, SC (WTOC) - A Bluffton homeowner is picking up the pieces after lightning struck during Sunday's severe weather, igniting a fire and destroying his property.

Officials with the Bluffton Township Fire District say they actually had a pretty low volume of calls coming in during the severe weather. They did, however, have to respond to this fire caused by lightning. It happened around 7:30 Sunday morning. A neighbor spotted the smoke coming from the detached garage on Buck Island Road, alerting the homeowner who was asleep at the time. We spoke with him on Monday. He did not want to appear on camera, but said he was grateful lightning did not strike his house. This was mainly used for storage and to hold their washer and dryer machines. The Bluffton Township Fire District was able to get the fire under control in just 30 minutes. Officials say that fires started by lightning are more common than people realize.

"It happens a lot more than people think, and especially down here in the Lowcountry, in the summertime especially. We get those afternoon thunderstorms come, and we get a lot of lightning strikes, and it's not uncommon for here in the Lowcountry. All the fire departments, you know, we get a storm coming through, we're running a structure fire, maybe two structure fires because of lightning strikes," said Captain Randy Hunter, Bluffton Township Fire District.

Captain Hunter did say that the area lucked out as far as storm damage goes, but he does want folks to be aware of the increased risk whenever there is severe weather passing through the area, especially with lightning.

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