COLDWATER (WTVB) One of the remarkable features of yesterday’s stormy weather in Michigan, including Branch County, was the bombardment from lightning which is being blamed for a number of fires and electrical outages around the state. A house in Ovid Township near Coldwater Lake on Maple Knoll Road was struck by lightning around 4 p.m. The homeowner called 911 and said it knocked a hole in a wall in the laundry room and sparked a small fire which he put out. There was also a reported gas leak. There were no injuries. At around the same time, the Bronson Fire Department responded to reports of either downed or arching wires on Southern Road and Block Road. The line of storms prompted a severe thunderstorm warning to be issued for Branch County at 2:38 yesterday afternoon. A severe thunderstorm watch was issued at 3:50 but cancelled less than an hour later.
Elsewhere around the state, lightning is blamed for starting fires at an apartment complex in Romulus and at the Bentwater Apartments in Three Rivers, where about a dozen residents were forced to evacuate. A lightning strike in Garden City fried the electrical system in a home and knocked plaster off the walls. An Amish Sawmill in Montcalm County caught fire and burned after it took a lightning strike early Wednesday. Homes in Dearborn Heights and Portland were set ablaze by lightning strikes and a woman near Muskegon says she was struck by a bolt as she was sleeping in bed. Now she is researching how to ground her bed frame.