Cashiers-Glenville FD douses fire after home hit by lightning

Cashiers-Glenville Fire Department responded to a report of a house fire yesterday evening in time to prevent a home from going up in flames.

“This is a win,” said CGFD Chief Randy Dillard. “This is probably over a million-dollar house that was saved from being a total loss. There’s a lot of damage, but for a house that size, it’s not bad.”

CGFD responds to a house fire on Drystack Way in Cashiers on Sunday evening.

CGFD received the call from a neighbor at 6:19 p.m. on Sunday evening who reported a fire on Drystack Way in Cashiers.

Dillard said upon preliminary investigation, it appeared the rear of the home was struck by lightning and the fire spread from there.

Lightning is believed to have struck in the corner of the back porch above a grill.

CGFD Firefighter Jason Farmer was one of the first on the scene and said the rear of the house was ablaze when he arrived.

The damage to the rear of the house is extensive.

“When we got here, there was heavy fire on the back porch in the corner,” said Farmer. “The initial attack was myself and Chief Dillard, and we got a knock down on it.”

Fire crews from Cashiers-Glenville, Cullowhee, and Lake Toxaway Fire Departments responded to a house fire on Drystack Way in Cashiers on Sunday.

Farmer then lead a team through the front of the house.

“I lead the first interior attack with a line through the front door but there was hardly any fire inside, just a lot of heat and smoke,” he said. “We sprayed down everything and started ventilation. Once you open up the doors and windows and get that fan going it makes a world of difference.”

With all mutual aid calls CGFD receives, Lake Toxaway and Cullowhee Fire Departments also respond. Highlands Fire & Rescue also responded with several firefighters and a tanker truck. There were no injuries on the call and Dillard said crews did a great job shutting the fire down in approx. a half hour.

Dillard said it’s possible the gutter pictured above was specifically struck by lightning.

Farmer said that all three departments working together as a team is crucial to success on a call.

“We have a great working relationship with them,” said Farmer. “Toxaway and Cullowhee, everybody flows together to get the job done. And we all know what we’re doing. It’s a brotherhood.”

Fire crews doused the interior with water and then ripped out some the walls to get rid of the heat and smoke filling the air.

Dillard said the owners of the house traveled to Atlanta earlier that day and were not home at the time of the fire.

After the fire was under control, crews still had to check for hotspots.

The mood was light after the fire was out, but crews still had a lot to do ensuring it didn’t flare up again.

Not a bad sunset to see after putting out a house fire.

Article and photos by Brian O’Shea
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