Apartment building fire possibly caused by lightning in Rochester Hills, officials say

An eight-unit apartment complex caught fire Sunday morning

An apartment building caught fire in Rochester Hills on Aug. 16, 2020. Officials believe lightning may have caused the fire. Photo provided by the Rochester Hills Fire Department. (Rochester Hills Fire Department)

ROCHESTER HILLS, Mich. – An apartment building caught fire in Rochester Hills early Sunday morning, possibly after being struck by lightning.

Officials say at about 5:39 a.m. residents called 9-1-1 after hearing an “extremely loud crack of thunder and bright lightning.” Firefighters arrived at the scene in the 3600 block of Galloway Court to find fire coming from the roof of the apartment complex.

Officials say all residents were safely evacuated and none were injured.

The Rochester Hills Fire Department responds to an apartment fire on Aug. 16, 2020. (Rochester Hills Fire Department)

Firefighters were able to extinguish the blaze in about two hours. Officials say one Rochester Hills firefighter was taken to the hospital for exhaustion but is in good condition.

The apartment building sustained significant damage in the blaze.

Officials say of the eight apartments in the complex, there is extensive fire, smoke and water damage to four of them. The remaining four units also sustained water and smoke damage.

The entire roof is burned off of half the building, officials said.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation. Officials say it is possible that lightning had caused the fire.


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Cassidy Johncox is a senior digital news editor covering stories across the spectrum, with a special focus on politics and community issues.