On August 16, 2012, just after 4 PM, Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office deputies were dispatched to a home in the 1000 block of Rock Ridge Road, Bridge Canyon Estates near Seligman. While driving to the fire, a deputy noted more than 12 lightning strikes in the immediate area. Neighbors had called 911 to report the home completely covered by flames.
When the first deputy arrived, the Seligman Fire Department had tanker trucks staged as firemen were attempting to extinguish the fire. Unfortunately, the house was fully engulfed in flames at this point and appeared to be a total loss.
Deputies determined the home was unoccupied. Neighbors mentioned that there were lighting strikes near the home just last week.
On August 17, 2012, a patrol supervisor from YCSO conducted a follow-up investigation with assistance from Seligman Fire personnel. The fire was deemed non-suspicious and based on prior observations, likely caused by lighting. The homeowner had been staying with family members in Ashfork at the time of the fire and would remain with them as she was now homeless.
During these lightning storms, neighbors are encouraged to safely monitor nearby structures and watch for smoke/flames that may result from such a strike. Contacting the fire service right away will increase the opportunity to contain such a structure fire. Additionally, there are occasions where person(s) inside a building may be unaware of a lightning caused fire, thus an early warning could save lives.
Citizens can contact the Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office with information or questions at 928-771-3260 or the YCSO website: www.ycsoaz.gov