Lightning Blamed for Fire That Destroyed New Jersey Farmhouse

Firefighters say they believe lightning sparked a fire that seriously damaged an old farmhouse in New Jersey as a round of powerful thunderstorms battered the tri-state area early Thursday.

At least a dozen volunteer fire companies from four different counties responded to the blaze at the Upper Freehold farmhouse in Monmouth County, officials said. The farmhouse is off a dirt road and there are no hydrants nearby so firefighters had to use less expeditious methods to fight the blaze, which may have exacerbated the damage.

No one was home at the time of the fire and no injuries were reported. The house, though, was destroyed. White smoke billowed out from the charred shell of the home after firefighters doused the flames. 

Meteorologists say another powerful round of thunderstorms is expected to move across the area Thursday afternoon that could bring more intense lightning. 

Showers are expected off and on Friday and Saturday but the sun comes out in time for a beautiful rest of the Memorial Day weekend with temperatures in the high 70s Sunday and Monday. 
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