Police chief: ‘Looking like’ lightning strike to blame for house fire

Posted: Updated:
RUTHERFORD -

A lightning strike may be to blame for causing a house fire in Rutherford.

The fire happened around 4 a.m. at a house at 139 Ridge Road.

Rutherford Police Chief John Russo says an investigation still needs to be done, but that it's "looking like" a lightning strike caused the fire.

Fire officials say the biggest challenge for firefighters was not the weather, but the layout of the house.

"They could not reach the scene of the fire with their hose stream from their vantage point, which was well into the third floor," says Paul Dansbach, the Rutherford fire inspector. "So the chiefs made the decision to pull the crews out. They knocked down the fire from the outside, then the members went back in with interior crews."

Russo says the three people inside the home are expected to be OK.

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