Falling tree started Sagamore Hills house fire Tuesday
Brief flooding during storm reported
A falling tree started a house fire in Sagamore Hills during a storm early Tuesday afternoon that area officials also say caused brief flooding and a possible lightning strike at a Twinsburg home.
Macedonia Fire Chief Brian Ripley said Wednesday that an elderly Scenic Point Road woman reported at 2:16 p.m. that she heard a tree fall over, she lost electricity and then heard a “cracking” sound.
“The storm took a tree down which took out the home’s electric service and started a fire in the wall where the electric service was,” said Ripley.
Ripley said there were no injuries, but the damage is estimated at $25,000. The home is repairable, but currently not habitable, he said.
“That’s because there is no power and it’s boarded up and it would have that residual odor from the fire,” said Ripley, adding that the American Red Cross responded to assist the woman and he had heard that her church would also be providing her with some help.
Ripley said there were some difficulties in fighting the fire: Scenic Point is a private road and narrows too much to allow fire engines at about 400 feet from the home.
“We had to pull lines through the woods,” said Ripley.
He said that while this was going on, firefighters were using dry chemical fire extinguishers on the fire. Downed wires around the home were also a factor until the power could be shut off.
“We were containing the fire. It wasn’t advancing,” said Ripley.
Northfield Village and Brecksville fire departments also responded and the scene was completely cleared at about 7:30 p.m., he said.
Assistant Twinsburg Fire Chief Steve Bosso said the fire department responded to a Waterford Drive home after the resident reported the home may have been struck by lightning at 12:26 p.m.
“They saw a flash and heard a thump and after that, they smelled smoke and there was a light haze when we got there,” said Bosso.
Bosso said the home was checked with a thermal imager and no fire was found. The only power loss was to a koi pond pump plugged in to an outside outlet, he said, and the fire department recommended that the resident contact an electrician to check the home’s system.
Some flooding reported
Sagamore Hills Police Lt. Brian Piekarski said there was flooding that briefly closed Crystal Creek Road, as well as Troubadour Drive at Houghton Road during the storm.
“Houghton Road had water going over it for a little bit, but it was passable after a little while,” he said.
Macedonia Service Director John Hnottavange said there was some flooding under the Ledge Road railroad bridge west of North Bedford Road, on Ledge Road at the top of the hill east of North Bedford and on North Bedford north of Ledge.
“Once it stopped, it did recede relatively quick,” said Hnottavange. “I’m just glad it’s over. “Other than that, it was a short amount of time and a lot of rain that charged the system and had no where to go at the time.”
Hnottavange also said a few trees came down, but he is unaware of any property damage or downed power lines, and there were branches down “here and there.”
Twinsburg Assistant Police Chief Bob Gonsiewski said there had been a lot of radio traffic about flooding in the Nordonia Hills area Tuesday afternoon, but he did not know of any in Twinsburg.
Gonsiewski said there were also reports of debris, which he believes was branches, on Interstate 480.
Northfield Center Trustee Paul Buescher said there was likely brief flooding around the township, but the only issue he knew of for sure was at the Town Hall.
“The Town Hall parking lot was under water for awhile, but it drained off quick,” he said. “I’m not aware of any damages that occurred. Right here in Northfield Center, we had 1.4 inches of measured rainfall in 45 minutes.”
Phone calls made to Northfield Village seeking information were not immediately returned.
Reporter Jeff Saunders can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or @JeffSaunders_RP.