LA CROSSE, Wis. (WXOW) - It took 33 firefighters to put out a house fire at 307 Caledonia Street on Saturday night, leaving severe fire, smoke, and water damage inside of the home.
The La Crosse Fire Department received a call at 8:42 p.m. Saturday night, and said the cause of the fire was "electrical". The Department said they received several calls Saturday night throughout the city for trees on fire, power lines down on homes, power pole fires, and trees on vehicles—but most crews were redirected to the house fire at 307 Caledonia.
According to witnesses, lightning struck a power pole behind the home before spreading to the home. The Department said the fire was found in both the basement and attic of the home, and crews were able to remove all occupants from the home before attacking the fire.
Three different crews reportedly were shocked by the electricity while attacking the fire. Electrical service was damaged at the home, vacating crews from the house before Xcel Energy cut the power.
Once Xcel Energy cut the power, firefighters were able to extinguish it. There were no injuries reported, but it left witnesses frightened and concerned.
"Last night, I was just really upset, not knowing what was going to happen through this. I know a lot of the neighbors probably were very very scared too," neighbor Phyllis Duffrin said.
"My initial reaction was 'holy cow'. That close to home and during the storm, I was watching the trees all over to see if they were going to fall down or whatever. I used to like thunderstorms, but I don't know if I do anymore," neighbor Barbara Artschwager said.
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