Greene County Sheriff Jack Williams says the first was a structure, and within minutes crews were also dispatched to a car fire. Rippey Fire Chief Pete Johnson says he responded to the car fire near the Greene and Boone County line on Highway 144. He tells Raccoon Valley Radio the owner said she was driving her vehicle, when she saw a bolt of lightning, heard a loud “bang” and her vehicle suddenly went dead. When she tried to restart it, she noticed smoke coming from the engine compartment. Johnson says he put out the fire in about 15 minutes, but the vehicle was totaled.
Johnson points out fire crews also responded to a lean-to fire on 290th Street and U Avenue at the home of Bob Heater. Firefighters were able to save the structure and any contents in it. Johnson believes the structure fire was also lightning related. He adds that both fires were accidental in nature.
In Johnson’s 42-years on the Rippey Fire Department, he says he’s never had to respond to two almost simultaneous fires before. No one was hurt in either incident.
The Greene County Sheriff’s office and Grand Junction Fire and Rescue assisted in the incidents.