Lightning Blamed for Sparking Union 8th Grade Center Roof Fire

Minimal smoke, fire damage inside

Lightning is being blamed for sparking a fire on the roof of the Union Eighth Grade Center as storms left damage strewn across the Tulsa area.

When crews from both Tulsa and Broken Arrow arrived on scene just after midnight, they found a ridge of fire running down from the roof, contained to the ridge vent.

Firefighters had to standby and wait for lightning to let up before turning the ridge vent off and tackling the blaze completely.

Damage was limited to the hallways, lockers and water damage on some carpeting, with minimal smoke damage to the interior, said TFD Capt. Joe Youngblood.

According to Union Superintendent Dr. Kirt Hartzler, the blaze caused damage to the west side of the building.

"Fortunately, the damage appears to be contained to the large hallway just off the main entrance," explained Dr. Hartzler, "In the initial walk through, the structure seems to sound; however, we will not know the full extent of the damage to the building and equipment until we complete a thorough evaluation," Dr. Hartzler said.

No one was in the building when the fire began, since school is out for the summer.

The school is expected to be restored and ready to open for classes on August 19th.

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