The South Walton Fire District experienced an extremely busy day on July 31, 2012, due to the weather. A series of strong thunderstorms passed through the South Walton area this morning causing a high volume of calls with two structure fires related to lightning strikes.
The first structure fire at 117 Gulf Shore Drive in Santa Rosa Beach came in at 09:45. SWFD crews arrived to find that the duplex home experienced a lightning strike to the roof area. Fire crews gained access to the attic area and extinguished the fire. The building experienced moderate damage and there were no injuries.
While crews were on this fire, another structure fire response was sent to 80 E. St Lucia Lane in Santa Rosa Beach. The SWFD arrived to find an unoccupied, beach house with smoke coming from the roof and chimney area. Fire crews gained access to the house and extinguished the fire. The home suffered significant fire damage, but crews were able to save many of the families valuables. Fire crews are still on scene at the time of this media release.
There were no civilian injuries, however, two firefighters suffered minor injuries
SWFD received the assistance from Destin Fire Control District, Freeport Fire Department, Walton County Fire Rescue, and Panama City Beach Fire Department in bringing these incidents under control.
Information provided by the South Walton Fire District