July 7 storm keeps firefighters occupied

FLFD puts out pickup camper blaze


Clint Riese
News Editor

Several simultaneous calls for service in the wake of a storm threw the Forest Lake Fire Department into action on Sunday, July 7.

“We had a couple busy hours there,” said Chief Gary Sigfrinius.

Two small fire threats emerged from the storm. Lightning hit a house at 8364 144th Ave. SE in Columbus. The bolt struck a tree and the current followed to an underground wire leading to the house. The strike ignited insulation in the structure’s foundation. The fire was out on arrival, and the house suffered no major structural damage, Sigfrinius said. The house and that neighborhood lost power.

Another blaze took place at the storage facility at 14025 Freeway Drive in Columbus. A pickup camper started on fire after being hit by lightning.

“It was burning pretty good upon arrival,” Sigfrinius said. “We kept the fire damage to the camper and not to the truck.”

Two service calls came in for wires down and one for a lightning strike at an apartment complex. The latter turned out to be a false alarm.

With the Forest Lake firefighters tied up, the Wyoming Fire Department responded to a report of trees burning at Forest Hills Golf Club in Forest Lake. The trees had fallen into wires.