GE garage fire caused by lightning
A lightning strike Sunday evening ignited a garage fire outside of Glen Ellen that destroyed an extensive book collection that was stored in the garage.
Glen Ellen Fire Chief Peter Van Fleet said the lightning struck the garage shortly before 10 p.m. and when he arrived on the scene at the Waldruhe Heights residence, the structure was fully involved.
He said the thousands of books that were in the garage in plastic containers added fuel to the blaze. "There were books three-to-four-feet deep in the garage," Van Fleet said.
Glen Ellen had an engine from its Sonoma Mountain Road station within minutes and they knocked the blaze down in about 10 minutes.
"Because of the depth of the debris, we used foam," Van Fleet said.
Firefighters from Glen Ellen and Kenwood, which sent a water tanker, were on scene for about four hours, leaving at about 2 a.m.
Van Fleet said fire personnel prevented the fire from spreading into the house, which was separate from the garage.
He estimated the damage to the garage at about $15,000, but couldn't put a price on the thousands of books that are now a soggy mess.