Lightning Strike Believed the Cause of Apartment Fire

Photo by: Dane Acosta
Photo by: Dane Acosta

About two dozen people, many of them college students, can't spend the night in their apartments, and it appears 'Mother Nature' is to blame. Lightning struck a building at Boardwalk Place Apartments in Denham Springs. As WAFB's Avery Davidson reports, while all of the people made it out alright before fire trucks arrived, the same could not be said about their pets.

You can tell a lot by the looks on peoples faces. That look of concern and worry about what's next, especially what they just saw. Dane Acosta took pictures of the 700 building at Boardwalk Place Apartments just minutes after lightning struck the roof. That happened at about 4:30 in the afternoon.

Smoke immediately started pouring into the parking lot. District 5 and Denham Springs firefighters used their ladder truck to spray water on the blaze. It took them almost half an hour to get it under control.

Catherine Hope says, "I never ran so fast in my life." Hope was inside her upstairs apartment when the lightning hit, but cannot rate the loudness of the thunder on a scale from one to ten. She says, "Oh, it was really loud, like 12. Like it's just this big popping, cracking sound and it scared the life out of me." It wasn't just her life she was afraid for. Her shivering little puppy and her pug, Riley, were also inside.

Hollie Dutsch has two cats, but she wasn't home when the fire started. Dutsch says, "My mother-in-law called me to say that my apartments were on fire." Dutsch rushed in with firefighters to rescue her pets. Luckily, little Loco and her other cat, Shelby were fine. Dutsch says, "My little girl, I know she was scared to death something happened to 'em, so. They are her little siblings."

Firefighters say the blaze was so intense that it caused the pipes feeding the sprinkler system to burst. That basically dumped water into the apartments at 180-pounds of pressure for about half an hour.