Lightning-Caused Fire Destroys Home

Home is complete loss, damage estimated at $700,000, says Payson Fire Department official

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Home is complete loss, damage estimated at $700,000, says Payson Lightning from Saturday's strong storm ignited a house fire, causing more than $700,000 in damage to the structure.

No injuries were reported as a result of the fire, and no other homes in the Foothills Drive area of Payson or any adjoining structures were affected by the fire.

"The house and all its contents were a total loss," Payson Fire Department Capt. Jim Rasmussen said.

"We have to assume the smoke alarms went off, but since no one was at home at the time, we don't know for sure," he said.

The house was not installed with fire sprinklers. Rasmussen said some of the contents of the house might have been saved if it had been equipped with a fire suppression system.

Official damage estimates have not been finished. Rasmussen said as soon as the fire department reports are completed he foresees the fire will be officially labeled as lightning-caused.

On Saturday, just before 7 p.m., Payson Fire Department received a call of a house on fire at 712 E. Foothills Drive. No one was home at the time the fire broke out.

First to arrive on the scene was a fire unit from Diamond Star Fire Department and Capt. Rasmussen of Payson Fire.

Diamond Star was first to respond, because all of Payson's units were involved on other calls when the call came in, Rasmussen said.

"By the time Diamond Star arrived, it was a completely involved attic fire," he said. Eight fire department units from Diamond Star and Payson responded to the house fire, but they could not save the house.

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