Storm struck

A popular myth says lightning doesn’t strike the same place twice, but it seems to have struck the Fredonia area twice during Wednesday night’s powerful storms.

According to WDOE, a lightning strike caused heavy damage to an old chestnut tree at 50 Central Ave. after it hit the top of the tree around 11:50 p.m., causing it to “explode.” Debris from the strike was reported on Central Avenue and nearby Curtis Place.

A firefighter with the Dunkirk Fire Department quickly checked out the tree to see if any damage or fire was present at the scene. Nothing major was reported.

The Chautauqua County Sheriff’s Office also reported to the OBSERVER that a second tree was downed in the town of Busti during the storms.

In a separate incident on the same night, the Fredonia Fire Department was called to a fire on 4617 West Main Road, just outside the village limits.

According to a press release by the fire department, crews made quick work of a barn fire that was ignited by an apparent lightning strike around 11:22 p.m. By the time the fire was reported under control at 11:50 p.m., the structure had received heavy damage to the west rear corner, along with a 12 foot by 14 foot shed that was destroyed. The remainder of the barn had smoke and water damage.

Brocton, the West Town of Dunkirk and the East Town of Dunkirk fire companies also assisted. City of Dunkirk firefighters stood by at the Fredonia fire station while crews were out.

Fredonia Second Assistant Chief John Lanphere wished to thank the mutual aid companies for their assistance at the scene.

To view a video of the West Main Road fire, click on this article on