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Lightning sparks fire in Southborough, injuring three firefighters, officials say

A two-alarm fire broke out at a home in Southborough after a lightning strike on Friday afternoon. Three firefighters were injured as they battled heavy flames, officials said.

Fire crews set out to battle the flames in the midst of a severe thunderstorm, according to comments by Southborough Fire Chief Steven Achilles posted to WCVB-TV. Due to the threat of lightning, the firetrucks on the scene were unable to extend their ladders, he said.

All three injured firefighters — one from Southborough and two from Westborough — were conscious when transported to the hospital, Achilles told the station.

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Two of the injured firefighters were attempting a “bailout” down a stairwell when the blaze suddenly intensified, he said.

“They had fire above them and the heat kept on coming down and down,” Achilles said. “It got fresh air, and basically, the second floor engulfed in fire.”

Department spokeswoman Stephanie Fontaine said that “extra ambulances” had been called to the fire scene.

Fire crews responded to 20 Sears Road by 4:05 p.m. and were still working to extinguish the fire as of 7:15 p.m., she said.

First responders were dealing with multiple strikes in town on Friday, she added.

Achilles told WCVB that his department had received ten other calls around the same time they were on the scene at Sears Road.

He added that all units in the region were engaged when the call came in — preventing him from calling for more than two alarms.

Several areas across eastern and central Massachusetts experienced severe weather on Friday afternoon, according to Rodney Chai, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service’s Norton office.

“Most of the afternoon saw scattered-to-isolated thunderstorms, but some of them were strong-to-severe — especially in the metro-west Boston area” he said. “We put out a few severe weather statements for strong thunderstorms.”

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This breaking news story will be updated as more information becomes available.


Camilo Fonseca can be reached at camilo.fonseca@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @fonseca_esq.