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Lightning strike causes heavy fire in Balen: Uninhabitable house... (Balen)

Lightning strike causes heavy fire in Balen: Uninhabitable house… (Balen)


A home in Shore in Palin was hit by heavy fire after a lightning strike on Sunday afternoon. The residents managed to flee their homes in time. The attic was completely destroyed and the house became uninhabitable due to smoke and water damage. Elsewhere in the country, the storm was already severe. Streets and cellars were flooded in several places.

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Residents of a two-family home on Shore Street were stunned by a loud sound just before 4 p.m. on Sunday afternoon. “We saw that lightning struck the construction hoist opposite, and right after that the electricity went out everywhere,” says Guido Melles, a resident. “Then we noticed that lightning struck our roof and it was burning in the attic. We immediately got to safety and called the firefighters.”

The fire brigade was at the scene quickly. “When we arrived it was a really big fire. With a lightning strike, it can go really fast,” says Eric Gerinks of the Kempin District Fire Brigade. We immediately began to put out the fire. This allowed us to prevent the fire from spreading further into the other half of the two-family house. But the damage is great in the right half of the two-family house.”

The roof and attic were completely burned out. © Tommy Mays

This half is completely uninhabitable. “Both the ceiling and the attic floor were completely burnt out,” says Geerinckx. “There is a lot of smoke and water damage upstairs and ground floor. As a result, the house is no longer habitable. Residents can stay temporarily with people in the area and the municipality is monitoring their situation. The other half has survived except for smoke and water damage in the attic. People who live there can Go home.”

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three children

The affected population is a family with three children. “It all happened so quickly. We can’t figure it out for ourselves yet,” says the mother of the family, still very touched. “Fortunately, not everyone in our family has been hurt. We are now trying to get as many things out of the house as possible. Fortunately, we can count on a lot of help from friends in the neighborhood. But I still fear the storm that is yet to come.”