Firefighters douse flames at Elmer Hill Road home

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A home on Elmer Hill Road in Rome was spared after city firefighters quickly knocked down a porch fire during Tuesday’s thunderstorm.

A lightning strike is believed to be the possible cause, according to fire officials.

“We think it was lightning-related,” said Deputy Fire Chief Timothy Reilly.

“There was a big strike of lightning in the backyard that hit a tree. Then they discovered the porch on fire.”

The family at 8393 Elmer Hill Road called 9-1-1 at 7:12 p.m. to report the fire on their side porch. Reilly said firefighters were already responding to a call of wires down on nearby Fish Hatchery Road, so they were only a short drive from the scene of the fire.

“If it wasn’t for that, there could have been a lot more damage,” Chief Reilly stated.

Responding crews used a hose line to knock down the flames in a matter of minutes, the chief said. No one was injured and the fire did not reach the home. The family was not displaced.

“The house was spared,” Reilly said. The exact cause remains under investigation.

Chief Reilly said Rome Fire responded to upwards of 30 calls during Tuesday evening’s storm. There were multiple reports of trees and wires down throughout the city, and some flooding on Rome-Oriskany Road, he stated. The fire department had to call in back-up firefighters in order to service the increased call volume.

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