Several fires reported as storms sweep through area


A series of swift thunderstorms crossed the metropolitan area yesterday afternoon and evening, pelting some areas with hail and heavy rains that caused sporadic flooding.

Lightning was blamed for much of the power outages that affected an estimated 11,000 homes and businesses, and for a two-alarm blaze that heavily damaged a house in Baltimore County.

No one was home when the fire erupted about 3:45 p.m. - apparently the result of lightning striking the chimney of the house in the 14200 block of Greencroft Lane in Cockeysville, the county Fire Department said. No one was reported injured battling the blaze.

Storm-related fires also were reported in the Dundalk, Fullerton and Butler areas - the latter at a house on Gadd Road also hit by lightning, where damage was slight.

In Carroll County, lightning struck the chimney of a house in the 17300 block of Pink Dogwood Court in Lisbon, but no fire or injury resulted, authorities said.

Linda Foy, a Baltimore Gas and Electric Co. spokeswoman, said most of the power outages were in Baltimore County, with the remainder in the city and Carroll and Anne Arundel counties.

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