News short: Lightning strikes palm tree, starts fire near homes in St. George

A firefighter uses a chainsaw to remove smoldering limbs from a palm tree that caught fire from a lightning strike in St. George, Utah, July 25, 2018 | Photo by Spencer Ricks, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — After lightning struck a palm tree in a backyard in St. George and caused it to catch fire, firefighters rushed to extinguish the flames because of how close homes were to the tree.

Firefighters use a hose to spray down a palm tree that caught fire after getting struck by lightning in St. George, Utah, July 25, 2018 | Photo by Spencer Ricks, St. George News

The palm tree, which was in the backyard of a home on Reflection Way in St. George, caught fire at about 4 p.m. Three fire engines from St. George Fire Department responded to the call.

There were homes on all sides of the tree, but none of them caught fire because of the swift response from firefighters, Battalion Chief Robert Hooper said.

“If it had gotten fully involved, it could have done some property damage.”

When firefighters arrived, heavy smoke was billowing from the tree, Hooper said. A neighbor had started to spray down the flames with a garden hose, and rain from the short thunderstorm helped keep the fire at bay.

Firefighters were able to quickly put out the fire and remove smoking limbs from the tree with a chainsaw.

This report is based on preliminary information provided by emergency responders and may not contain the full scope of findings.

Email: sricks@stgnews.com

Twitter:  @STGnews | @SpencerRicks

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2018, all rights reserved.

 

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