Storm causes local damage

Lightning struck two area houses Monday afternoon during a thunderstorm that also took down trees and power lines.

Authorities reported lightning strikes at houses on Walnut Street in Gloversville and Lake Edward Road in Bleecker. Both strikes caused fires at the houses.

Meco Fire Chief Greg House said the Bleecker property is owned by people who live in Syracuse and use the home occasionally. He said no one was in the house when the fire occurred.

He said a neighbor heard the lightning strike and called the Fire Department.

House said the department had a “pretty good jump on it,” so the damage was minimal and the home remains habitable.

“The lightning actually struck the side of the residence and caused an electrical malfunction, which started a fire in the walls,” House said.

A lightning strike also caused a fire at a one-family residence at 6:58 p.m. at 18 Walnut St, a news release from the Gloversville Fire Department said.

Upon arrival, firefighters found light smoke coming from the eaves. The occupants were still inside the structure and were escorted out of the building by fire personnel.

After searching the residence, firefighters found a fire in the attic area above the bathroom on the second floor on the southeast side of the structure. However, there was no access to this area, so firefighters had to remove the ceiling area on the interior and eaves trim on the exterior to extinguish the fire.

Moderate fire, heat, smoke and water damage was contained to a small portion of the attic area above the bathroom on the second floor with minor water and smoke damage to the bathroom area. The second-floor area sustained minor smoke damage.

Fire Chief Beth Whitman-Putnam said the hydrant in front of the residence wasn’t working, so the department had to use another hydrant about 400 feet away.

“We do run into that from time to time, and we notified the water department to take a look at it and make repairs as needed,” Whitman-Putnam said.

No injuries occurred during the fire, the chief said.

In Perth, Fire Chief Pete Watrobski said trees were down along County Highway 107 near the Broadalbin-Perth School, resulting in the road having to be closed temporarily.

He said trees took down power lines. His department was there cleaning up debris from about 6 to 11 p.m.

He said a large tree also fell along along Steers Road in Perth, taking down a power line. The tree fell on the property of Perth Fire Department 2nd Assistant Chief Scott Friedlander.

Watrobski said all of the roads were clear and accessible this morning.

Broadalbin-Kennyetto Fire Chief Scot Hall said his department responded to a number of trees that fell onto wires along County Highways 126 and 107.

According to the National Grid website, hundreds of residents in Fulton County were without power Monday evening, but as of this morning, only five homes remained without power. In Montgomery County, 10 homes were reported as having no power, but as of this morning, no homes were without power.

Levi Pascher can be reached by email at