At 6:29 p.m. on May 28, New Martinsville Fire Fighters were summoned to a home east of New Martinsville along state Route 7, just before the Wetzel County Center for Children and Families and across from the Witschey Addition, for a report of a home on fire.
As the firefighters arrived they found the home with heavy smoke coming from it and a small fire in the wall of the kitchen. Firefighters had the fire extinguished in approximately five minutes from their time of arrival. The home was unoccupied and firefighters had to force their way into the structure before they were able to locate the fire. The owners of the home, John and Thelma Kormos, were away at the time of the fire but they have been notified, according to NMVFD Fire Chief Larry Couch.
There was fire damage to the exterior and interior kitchen wall as well as smoke damage throughout the home and minor water damage in the kitchen. Damages to the structure have been initially set at $15,000.
From neighbors' accounts of the incident and evidence at the scene, it appeared that the home had been struck by lightning on the north side, just outside of the kitchen. It appeared that the lightning may have struck the kitchen range vent cover outside of the home and set the exterior and interior kitchen wall on fire. Neighbors recounted a very close lightning strike and an almost immediate fire at the residence.
There were no injuries and the NMVFD responded with two fire engines, a ladder truck, utility truck, and 16 personnel. They were assisted by the Wetzel County Sheriff's Office, Wetzel County EMS, Wetzel County Public Service District #1, and the Paden City Volunteer Fire Company served on stand-by to assist at the scene or cover any additional calls, during the incident. Firefighters cleared this call at 8:12 p.m.
Prior to this incident NMVFD had been summoned to a tree and power lines down on a mobile home in the Brooklyn section of New Martinsville and power lines in a tree on fire in the Steelton section of town. After initially securing those two scenes, the calls were then handled by Municipal Electric and Mon Power, respectively.