Lightning strike sparks fire in Hagerstown apartment building

A bolt of lightning sparked a massive fire in an apartment building in Hagerstown on Tuesday night, the state fire marshal said.

The fire broke out around 8 p.m. in the Woodbridge Apartments at 11565 Robinwood Drive, fire officials said. Residents told fire investigators they heard lightning strike the building and then felt the building shake.

The roof and attic immediately ignited and the fire eventually caused them to collapse into the third floor. The second and first floors were extensively damaged by water, the fire marshal said.

The building had sprinklers but the fire overwhelmed them.

All of the 74 occupants were able to escape the building uninjured. One elderly woman was taken to a hospital for an unrelated medical condition.

It took 100 firefighters about 90 minutes to get the blaze in the 37-unit building under control. The cause of the fire is under investigation, but witnesses reported a lightning strike before the fire started on the roof, the fire marshal said.

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