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Lightning causes scare in rural Brainerd neighborhood

A Brainerd Firefighter uses a blower to remove smoke from a home hit by lightnin1 / 2
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Lightning possibly struck a home Monday night causing a gas leak that affected multiple homes giving residents in the Lone Oak Road and Stone Ridge Road neighborhoods south of Brainerd, just off St. Mathias Road, a scare.

It took five Brainerd Fire and Rescue crews — working in the dark — to search five to seven homes in the neighborhood to shut off all the gas lines and search for possible fires. Gas was leaking into the homes and two small fires were found.

Brainerd firefighters were initially called at 10:27 p.m. to a home on 7102 Stone Ridge Road to a possible structure fire with a gas smell. One fire crew of four firefighters responded and while on scene, they directed the second fire crew to a home on 7247 Lone Oak Road because a small fire was located in the basement.

All the neighbors were outside of their home upon the fire department’s arrival and no one was injured.

Brainerd Fire Chief Kevin Stunek said once firefighters and CenterPoint Energy were on scene, they went door-to-door to make sure the gas lines were secure and to make sure the lightning didn’t possibly leave any fires or other damages inside the walls or attic of the homes.

The Crow Wing County Sheriff’s Office assisted the firefighters in finding a fire in the wall of an attached garage on Stony Ridge Road. Firefighters had to cut a hole in the wall to extinguish the fire and to make sure it did not spread throughout the walls of the garage and home. Stunek said there was about $10,000 in damages to the home.

“This was kind of a major incident,” Stunek said. “Anytime a storm comes through like this and lightning strikes the possibility of it hitting a house is high, but luckily this case was very isolated. We believe what possibly happened was the lightning struck the house, trees or the ground and it worked its way through the gas lines to exit and that is why we had multiple houses on fire

“It could have been much worse. Lot of times when you have lightning strike with gas, and gas with fire you could have had multiple explosions. We secured the area quickly and there were no explosions, no injuries and a good job well done.”

Brainerd Fire Department called Nisswa Fire Department in for mutual aid to staff the fire station, while it responded to the lightning call. Up to 30 Brainerd firefighters responded to the scene or the fire station.

Firefighters cleared the scene at 11:49 p.m.

JENNIFER STOCKINGER may be reached at or 855-5851. Follow on Twitter at