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Lightning starts fire in Merrill home


MERRILL, Wis. (WSAU) -- Lightning may be the cause of a house fire in the Merrill area Sunday morning.

The fire was a W5084 South Shore Drive in the Town of Merrill, and was reported at 5:44 a.m. Firefighters could see smoke and fire coming from the west side of the structure when they arrived.

Firefighters had to open a hole in the roof to vent heat and smoke from the house. The damage is extensive, and early estimates put damage well over $50,000.

The homeowner told firefighters about the thunderstorm and loud noise believed to be the lightning strike.

Everyone got out of the house safely and there were no injuries.