Fire officials remind residents of severe weather threat after lightning sparks fire in Southwick

SOUTHWICK, MASS. (WHDH) - Fire officials are reminding residents to be aware of the threat posed by severe weather after a lightning strike sparked a barn fire in Southwick on Saturday.

Firefighters say the barn was struck as storms moved through the area and quickly became engulfed in flames and thick black smoke.

Southwick Fire Chief Russ Anderson said, “any time there is lightning in the area this can be a concern.”

Firefighters say a witness driving by saw it all happen and called for help.

“Upon arrival, the barn was fully involved,” Anderson said, “Our concern became the second barn and the house across the street and both of those items were saved.”

The heat from the fire got so hot at times it melted the siding off of the house across the street.

Firefighters say they struggled to put the blaze out.

“Our biggest concern is the propane tanks that were in the barn,” Anderson said. “We are cooling those and hoping the gas resizes.”

Crews are now focusing on cleaning up the damage and making sure residents are reminded of the threats severe weather has.

“We had another house we believe got struck but didn’t,” Anderson said. “This is a reality when storms like these come through. We have to be prepared.”

Firefighters say the barn is a total loss.

(Copyright (c) 2019 Sunbeam Television. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)