Around 11 a.m., emergency crews responded to a structure fire on Margaret Street. According to Port Hope Police Service Insp. Katie Andrews, officers arrived before the fire department as they were in the area when they heard the sound of a loud bang.
Police say no one was home at the time, however, a constable located two dogs in the home and removed them before firefighters arrived. The canines were returned to their owners uninjured, Andrews said.
Fire crews were met with thick smoke but quickly got the blaze under control.
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Officials on scene believe the fire was the result of a lightning strike to a gas line. Ignited gas shot flames at the home’s siding, spreading to the interior.
Port Hope Fire and Emergency Services Fire Chief Jeff Ogden and the Office of the Ontario Fire Marshal confirmed lightning struck a gas meter which triggered the fire.
Damage is estimated at $500,000.