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Lightning strike causes fire at empty storage building in Dover

| July 3, 2023
Photos courtesy of Robert Sterling of the Dover Fire Department

DOVER (WJER) (July 3, 2023) – A lightning strike caused a fire that essentially destroyed an empty storage building at a commercial property at 530 River Street in Dover late Sunday night.

Dover Fire Lieutenant and Fire Investigator Brian Stewart says a passer-by called 9-1-1 around 10:45 p.m.

Stewart says there is surveillance video of the lightning that appears to strike the 50-by-50-foot building at the corner roof line at 10:25 p.m.

He says the fire consumed the roof of the entire building. The owner indicated he will knock down what’s left.

Stewart says it’s odd lightning struck this particular building. It sits at perhaps the lowest point in the city next to the river and is smaller and shorter than several nearby structures and a utility pole.

No one was hurt. Stewart says firefighters were able to contain the fire to the single structure.

He’s convinced if any of the materials stored elsewhere on the site had been in that building, or if the fire had spread, firefighters would have been fighting that blaze well past sunrise.

Firefighters were there until about 3:30 a.m. New Philadelphia, Bolivar, Sugarcreek, and Smith Ambulance assisted.

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