A bolt of lightning during an overnight storm apparently started a fire that destroyed a home in Grant early Wednesday.
Just after 1 a.m., the owner of a house in the 11000 block of Great Oak Trail North called 911 to report “hearing a bolt of lightning followed by a strong smell of gas,” according to the Washington County Sheriff’s Office.
Deputies arriving on scene found fire inside the residence. The two adults inside the house were able to get out safely with their animals, and no injuries were reported.
“Due to the home’s location in a district without fire hydrants, water had to be brought in by tanker shuttle to battle the flames,” the sheriff’s office said in a news release.
Grant, pop. 4,100, is located in a rural part of the county — west of Stillwater — and served by private wells and septic systems.
Mayor Jeff Huber said not having fire hydrants in the immediate vicinity is “one of the few disadvantages of living on the outskirts of cities, not only Grant.”
Fortunately, he said, “the house sits fairly close to multiple fire hydrants to the west, so shuttling water in 5,000-gallon tankers was available.”
As of 11 a.m., fire crews remained on scene working to extinguish the blaze.
The house is a total loss, Mahtomedi Fire Chief Terry Fischer said. Washington County property tax records put the home’s assessed value at $1.4 million.