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Chief: Lightning Strike Likely Cause of Roof Fire

A 'phenomenal save' by firefighters prevented the blaze from spreading further, chief says.

A lightning strike during a swift but strong summer storm Monday afternoon was the likely cause of a roof fire on Emily Road, the Liberty Corner fire chief said.

Chief Marc Friedman said a "phenomenal save" by firefighters halted the blaze before it spread further through the residence at 47 Emily Road.

The fire likely began about 4:30 p.m., Friedman said. He added it wasn't long before a neighbor noticed the flames and called 911.

arrived—with assistance from the and other nearby firefighting organizations—and was able to squelch most of the fire within about 20 minutes, Friedman said.

He said the fire will be investigated, but it appears that lightning during the Monday afternoon storm was most likely the cause.

Emily Road was blocked to traffic for a few hours, with emergency vehicles parked on both sides of the residential street.

Firefighters needed to locate the entrance to the attic under the roof in the rear of a closet, Friedman said. By then, the wooden shake exterior on the home also was catching fire, Friedman said.

After the blaze was brought under control and doused, he said firefighters placed tarps to block off both the burned section of the roof and the remainder of the home, which suffered some water damage.

The homeowners, who appeared to be returning shortly after the blaze was extinguished, would be able to remain in the house, he said.

No one was in the home at the time of the fire, Friedman said. He said none of the volunteer firefighters or any other emergency responders were injured.

However, he said most of the 50 firefighters at the scene participated at one time or another as they worked to contain the blaze on a still-warm humid day.

Other fire companies at the scene were from the Lyons Veterans Administration facility, Bernardsville and Far Hills-Bedminster, Friedman said. Rescue workers were standing by, and also responded.

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