Lightning strike believed to have caused fire in Wilbraham

WILBRAHAM, Mass. (WWLP) – Firefighters believe a lightning strike caused a propane tank to rupture, leading to a fire in Wilbraham on Wednesday morning. Wilbraham Deputy Fire Chief David Bourcier told 22News that lightning appears to have struck a tree located next to a barn at 212 Springfield Street. He said the lightning is thought to have traveled underground and found a weak spot in a 500 gallon propane tank above ground, causing the tank to rupture.

The barn became engulfed in flames, as did an RV that was parked nearby. Bourcier said that a woman who was inside the house (which was very close to the barn) got out safely. A neighbor called the fire department at around 7:14 A.M. to report that the barn was in flames.

The deputy chief said that it was a very dangerous situation when they got there, because there was propane in the area. They had to cut through an electronic gate to get onto the property, because the power was out and they couldn’t open it.

Firefighters from East Longmeadow, Ludlow, and Palmer were called-in to help Wilbraham firefighters put out the flames.

Springfield Street from Stony Hill Road to Faculty Street was closed for hours, but re-opened late Wednesday morning.

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