Neighbor Helps Man To Safety After Possible Lightning Strike

Tuesday, May 25, 2010 - 1:10pm

Lightning possibly struck the roof of a Westside home on Tuesday morning.

The fire occurred at 1821 Keyes Avenue just after 9:00 am. Neighbors said they could hear and feel a boom, Car alarms were also sounding after the strike. Alex, the 24-year old neighbor ran to 1821Keyes Avenue to help Mr. Stransky, who is 91 years old. Alex's mom called 911. Alex ran up to the second floor and found Mr. Stransky sitting on his bed getting dressed. A slight smoke haze was noticed. The home owner told Alex where his fire extinguisher was, so Alex ran downstairs to get the extinguisher. He ran back upstairs and could feel the heat coming from the attic area, he knew the small extinguisher would not be able to put the fire out, so he helped Mr. Stransky to safety and brought him to his home.

The first companies on the scene arrived to find smoke coming from the roof area. Engine 4 crew entered the home, and did not encounter any smoke on the first floor. As they dragged the hose up to the second floor landing they found smoke starting to bank down from the ceiling. Firefighters opened the attic door, finding black smoke. Ladder 1 crew cut a hole in the roof in order for the smoke and hot gases to escape. The fire was quickly extinguished.

The home owner was not injured, but was taken to Meriter Hospital for evaluation and was later released.

The home suffered fire and water damage in the attic area, smoke and water damage to second floor and water damage to first floor. Damage is estimated with building and contents at $75,000.

The quick actions of the neighbor helped confine the fire and prevented the home from a total loss. Closing the attic door allowed both of them to escape without any injuries.

City of Madison Fire Department and National Fire Protection Association remind residents to:
• Have a home fire escape plan and discuss it with everyone in the home.
• Practice the plan at night and during the day with everyone in your home, twice a year.
• Know at least two ways out of every room, if possible. Make sure all doors and windows leading outside open easily.
• Have an outside meeting place (like a tree, light pole or mailbox) a safe distance from the home where everyone should meet.
• Practice using different ways out.
• Teach children how to escape on their own in case you can't help them.
• Close doors behind you as you leave.


  • Bernadette Galvez(608) 261-9844