Lightning strike believed to have sparked police station fire - WNEM TV 5

Lightning strike believed to have sparked police station fire

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Courtesy: Chief Brian Fairchild Courtesy: Chief Brian Fairchild
Courtesy: Chief Brian Fairchild Courtesy: Chief Brian Fairchild
Courtesy: Chief Brian Fairchild Courtesy: Chief Brian Fairchild
GENESEE COUNTY, MI (WNEM) -

A lightning strike is believed to have sparked a fire at the Flushing Township Police Department.

It happened on Saturday, July 1, at the building on the 6500 block of Seymour Road.

Chief Brian Fairchild said he was out of the office when he got the call that a lightning strike had hit nearby and the station was on fire.

Fairchild believes the strike hit some wires, causing damage to the house behind the office, and starting a fire at the station that destroyed a large section of the roof and building.

"When the surge came into our building there was a large bird's nest on top of where the wires go into the building, which was set on fire and that in turn caught the roof on fire," Fairchild said.

There was one officer inside the building when it happened.

"He got up to find out why the power went out and saw the smoke coming out of the fuse box and circuit breakers," Fairchild said.

The lone officer called the fire department and his chief. They all got to work carrying critical records, equipment, evidence and computers to safety.

They were able to rescue almost all the equipment - except for one computer - and all of the evidence, before further damage was done.

The evidence was moved to another secure location, but the fire did displace the entire police department.

For the first week the officers worked out of the city of Flushing station, but the department has now closed off the police department end of the Flushing Township offices and is working in the administrative area.

Chief Fairchild expects the police department to be closed for 120 days or more while crews work to fix all the damage.

"Everything's just downsized. The guys stay out on the road longer cause they don't like the smell and that's a good thing," Fairchild said.

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