Wilmette, News

Lightning believed to be cause of Wilmette house fire

Fire officials believe a lightning strike may have caused a fire inside a Wilmette home’s attic on Tuesday afternoon.

Wilmette Fire Chief Brian Lampel said no one was injured but the house in the 2000 block of Schiller Lane is uninhabitable after a fire was ignited in the home’s attack as a storm ripped through Wilmette around 2:20 p.m. April 4.

“It is still under investigation, but we’re leaning toward a possible lightning strike,” Lambel said of the fire. “There was a report of a lightning strike in the same area.”

Fire units were on site in three minutes, according to Lampel, who said firefighters had to pull down the ceiling of the home’s second floor to extinguish the flames.

Multiple holes were also punched in the roof of the house.

Firefighters exit the home, where a fire brought units from across the North Shore on Tuesday.

Homeowner Steve Reinhart was at work in Evanston when around 2:20 p.m. his dogsitter called him to say his family’s home was ablaze.

By the time he arrived home around 2:40 p.m. he said, firefighters were already well on their way to extinguishing the flames.

“I had (the dogsitter) send a photo so I knew right away that it was real but also (the home) was not engulfed in flames,” Reinhart said.

The dogsitter and the dog, Oakley, a beagle mix, exited the home unharmed.

First responders from Glencoe, Winnetka, Northfield, Glenview, Northbrook and Evanston responded to assist the Wilmette fire and police departments.

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joe coughlin
Joe Coughlin

Joe Coughlin is a co-founder and the editor in chief of The Record. He leads investigative reporting and reports on anything else needed. Joe has been recognized for his investigative reporting and sports reporting, feature writing and photojournalism. Follow Joe on Twitter @joec2319

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