Annapolis fire officials have ruled that a lightning strike set off an apartment building blaze on Spa Road in June, one of the largest fires in recent city history.
The June 25 fire at the building in the 1000 block of Spa Road displaced about 30 people and at least 10 pets, fire officials said. Fire investigators have determined the fire caused $1.3 million in damage.
At a City Council meeting in July, fire and emergency officials described their response to the building blaze. Firefighters carried a resident bound to a wheelchair out as they themselves evacuated the burning structure. Later, the parts of the flaming roof came down on firefighters, prompting another evacuation.
The response required a coordinated effort by a number of city agencies. A significant summer thunderstorm downed a tree on a road in the area, which blocked access. Some 20 people needed the city’s help in finding a place to live after the fire.
One firefighter from the Anne Arundel County Fire Department was injured while extinguishing the fire, but no residents or bystanders were harmed, according the fire department.
The apartment building didn’t have sprinklers but wasn’t required to because it was built in the early 1980s, before such buildings were mandated to have the fire suppression devices, fire officials said.
It took approximately 90 firefighters about an hour to bring the fire under control.
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Building inspectors deemed the building unsafe for people to inhabit after the blaze, fire officials said.