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Matlacha/Pine Island crews hold fire drill with focus on lightning-struck homes

Posted at 7:17 AM, Sep 05, 2022

CAPE CORAL, Fla. — It's no secret that severe weather can turn in an instant here in Southwest Florida.

Lightning can strike at any point during a storm. And this summer we have had a number of lightning strikes that have caused brush fires as well as house fires.

This morning the Matlacha Pine Island Fire Control District is training in Cape Coral, practicing what’s called ‘fire ground tactics.’

Today’s drill also serves an important reminder to home owners that lightning can strike at any moment.

In the last month, we’ve witnessed the damage lightning can do, with a home in Cape Coral being struck just last month. Pieces of the scorched home were scattered across the yard along with peeled-back shingles. That’s where Iona McGregor fire officials said the bolt hit the roof starting a fire.

Thankfully, nobody was inside the home when the fire started but that does not change how fire crews respond.

“Make sure we get into the structure, clear the structure, get the occupants out, find out where the fire started whether it's in the home or up in the attic space and start our extinguishment tactics,” says Lt. Michael Quilty, with Iona McGregor Fire.

And it just so happens that today’s training has a focus on piercing nozzle tactics — that’s a special nozzle for attic fires. Firefighters will also run drills involving roof ventilation and room-to-room wall breech.

Training will be getting started at about 8:30 this morning.