Members of the Castlegar Fire Department respond to a lightning strike which caused a shed to catch fire on 10th Avenue in Castlegar on June 23. A quick-thinking neighbour helped to extinguish the flames with a garden hose

Members of the Castlegar Fire Department respond to a lightning strike which caused a shed to catch fire on 10th Avenue in Castlegar on June 23. A quick-thinking neighbour helped to extinguish the flames with a garden hose

Quick wits and garden hose prevent lightning fire from spreading

A quick-thinking neighbour picked up a garden hose and helped extinguish a burning shed after lightning struck a tree in a backyard on 10th Avenue Thursday afternoon.

  • Jun. 23, 2011 6:00 p.m.

A quick-thinking neighbour picked up a garden hose and helped extinguish a burning shed after lightning struck a tree in a backyard on 10th Avenue Thursday afternoon.

“Thank goodness he was there,” Doris Latta said of her neighbour, Luis Machado.

The blaze could have grown much larger if it wasn’t for Machado, who heard the lightning strike and then quickly ran over to Latta’s yard from his home on 11th Avenue.

He picked up a garden hose that was already connected to a water supply and immediately started spraying down the flames.

“That’s your first instinct, eh?” he said afterwards. “When you see a fire, you want to put it out.”

The fire ended up doing minimal damage to the shed and to the large tree that the lightning appeared to have struck.

The electric charge also appeared to have run down a metal clothesline and damaged a wooden pillar on Latta’s home.

“Look what it did to the pole here … it just split this thing to pieces,” said Latta’s next-door neighbour Jeanette Pakula as she pointed to the singed and cracked pillar.

Latta said she was sitting at her computer when the lightning struck.

“I just saw white,” she said.

“You should have heard it,” added Pakula.

Members of the Castlegar Fire Department finished off the fire, hosing down the smouldering shed until they were sure it was out.