Fire crews remain at the scene of a house fire in north Clare on Saturday afternoon believed to have been started by a lightning strike during a thunderstorm.
The alarm was raised shortly after 3pm when emergency services received reports that a domestic property at Bishop’s Quarter on the N67 Ballyvaughan to Kinvara Road had suffered a lightning strike and was on fire.
Units of Clare County Fire and Rescue Service from Ennistymon station responded to the incident along with gardaí. Three fire appliances including a water tanker were dispatched to the scene.
On arrival at the location, emergency services found the roof of the dormer bungalow well alight and quickly set about tackling the blaze. Two teams of firefighters wearing breathing apparatus were also committed to the building but had to retreat because of the severity of the fire.
It’s not clear whether there were any persons in the house at the time however the property was empty when fire crews arrived. One person could be seen being comforted by neighbours on the roadside close to the scene.
Locals also rallied to help and directed traffic at the scene keeping the roadway clear for arriving fire crews. The scene is on the Wild Atlantic Way route which was busy with traffic at the time.
At the time of the incident, Clare was under a Status Yellow thunderstorm warning. That alerted has since been upgraded to Status Orange. Met Éireann had warned that “frequent lightning” could be a possible result of the thunderstorm.
It’s known that there was a severe thunderstorm in the north Clare area around the time of the incident. Fork lighting was reported over a wide area with heavy downpours of rain also.