Young Hero Reported Garage Fire Caused by Lightning


Published on April 28 2014 11:03 am
Last Updated on April 29 2014 9:16 am
Written by Greg Sapp

An Effingham boy is being recognized by spotting a fire caused by lightning Sunday in a garage next to his home.

Six-year-old Stephen Harrison is the son of Shane and Stephanie Harrison of Effingham.  Stephen saw a fire coming from the garage and told his parents, who phoned 911 for help.

Effingham Fire Chief Joe Holomy said a recognition ceremony for Stephen will be scheduled to recognize him for his good work.


The garage owned by Bob Bauman is located at 607 West Clark.  The call came at 3:23pm, but Holomy thinks the lightning strike occurred earlier.  The thought is that the lightning struck the roof of the garage, causing a fire that smoldered in the dry material beneath the wet roof until it burst into flames.  

Holomy said the fire did an estimated $5,000 damage to the garage and another $10,000 damage to the auto parts and other items stored inside the garage.  

Effingham firefighters were on scene for just over an hour.  No one was injured.


Firefighters had been out earlier Sunday to a report of lightning striking a vehicle.

The call came at 1pm to a vehicle along US Route 40 near Effingham High School.  Holomy said the call indicated that lightning struck the vehicle.  He thinks that there was enough static electricity from cloud-to-ground lightning in the area that it shorted out the vehicle's computer.  Firefighters didn't see any evidence that the vehicle took a direct hit.

The driver, whose name was not immediately available, was not injured.