Las Vegas Fire Sparked by Lightning

The home's owner called on his cellphone because his house phone would not work.


A home in The Lakes part of the city was heavily damaged by fire after lightning struck the house during an intense thunderstorm Monday morning. There were no reported injuries during the incident.

Firefighters were notified about the fire at 5:00 a.m. The home's owner called on his cellphone because his house phone would not work. He reported that they could smell something burning in their two-story wood frame/stucco house at 9925 Tamarack Landing Way. The husband and wife left the house and could see smoke coming from the vents in the attic. They sprayed water into the vents until the fire department arrived a few minutes later.

The fire caused a large hole in the roof and most of the fire was confined to the roof and attic area. Living areas in the house sustained some damage, but a lot was prevented by firefighters who covered furniture and belongings with large sheets of plastic. Damage was estimated at $50,000.

The two occupants told firefighters they were home and awake at the time because of the storm. They heard a loud clap of thunder and the house shook. They then noticed that an exercise computer and their telephones did not work. A few minutes later they could smell smoke and evacuated and called 9-1-1 using a cell phone.

Approximately ten other calls were received throughout the valley during the night where buildings were hit by lightning, causing minor damage to the roof or an air conditioner unit was hit.

Trees made up the most calls between 2:00 a.m. and 4:30 a.m. The first wave hit the central and east part of the valley between 2:00 a,m. and 3:30 a.m. After it died down, an intense storm cell entered the Summerllin area around 4:00 a.m. with heavy rains and intense lightning. Between 4:30 a.m. and 5:00 a.m,, there were so many calls in the Summerlin area, that fire units assigned to the downtown and east side areas of the city had to respond.

A number of calls were related to people driving on flooded streets or in washes. No injuries were reported.

Several traffic lights were either out of service or in a 4-way stop mode because of the storm. Several areas of the valley were without electricity because lightning struck transformers or caused trees to fall on power lines.

By 6:00 a.m. things had quieted down and water was receding off some streets.