Lightning sparks fire in Bovina area home

Published 5:04 pm Tuesday, January 14, 2020

BOVINA — During Tuesday’s storms, a home in the Bovina area was reportedly hit by lightning causing an attic fire.

Dale Jennings, owner of the Mississippi Barbeque Company in downtown Vicksburg, was at home when he heard lightning strike the home located on Cole Lake Road off of Tucker Road.

“I had just laid down to take a nap and the lightning went off. I woke up,” he said, knowing it had hit something and walked outside.

Email newsletter signup

Sign up for The Vicksburg Post's free newsletters

Check which newsletters you would like to receive
  • Vicksburg News: Sent daily at 5 am
  • Vicksburg Sports: Sent daily at 10 am
  • Vicksburg Living: Sent on 15th of each month

Jennings said he thought the lightning had hit a tree, but couldn’t find any evidence.

“And then all of the sudden I heard alarms going off — fire alarms, and I couldn’t understand what it was and then a minute later the house was full of black smoke,” he said.

According to Chuck Tate with the Culkin Volunteer Fire Department, lightning struck the house causing a fire in the attic, but at the time of the interview, the exact location of where the lightning struck the home had not been determined.

“We do not know where it hit yet,” Tate said. “We have not found that spot.”

Locating the origin of the fire was hampered by all the smoke.

Jennings said he had not seen any flames, only the smoke pouring from the eves.

“It’s smoldering somewhere you just have to find it,” Tate said, explaining that spray foam insulation had been used in the house and the fire was most likely underneath the insulation.

“Spray foam is great for insulation, but lousy for firefighters,” he said.

In an effort to locate where the fire started, fans were being used to vent the smoke out of the house.

Windows of the home were also purposely broken to release the toxic smoke.

Tate said burning spray foam releases toxic smoke making it nearly impossible to breathe. And because of its toxicity, Tate said, his men would be required to wash down their uniforms and gear once back at the station.

Fortunately, no one was injured at the scene.

“I am just so glad the girls were at school,” Jenning’s wife, Ashley, said.

According to the EPA government website, isocyanates, hydrogen cyanide, amines, and other toxic chemicals can be released into the air from spray polyurethane foam.

About Terri Cowart Frazier

Terri Frazier was born in Cleveland. Shortly afterward, the family moved to Vicksburg. She is a part-time reporter at The Vicksburg Post and is the editor of the Vicksburg Living Magazine, which has been awarded First Place by the Mississippi Press Association. She has also been the recipient of a First Place award in the MPA’s Better Newspaper Contest’s editorial division for the “Best Feature Story.”

Terri graduated from Warren Central High School and Mississippi State University where she received a bachelor’s degree in communications with an emphasis in public relations.

Prior to coming to work at The Post a little more than 10 years ago, she did some freelancing at the Jackson Free Press. But for most of her life, she enjoyed being a full-time stay at home mom.

Terri is a member of the Crawford Street United Methodist Church. She is a lifetime member of the Vicksburg Junior Auxiliary and is a past member of the Sampler Antique Club and Town and Country Garden Club. She is married to Dr. Walter Frazier.

“From staying informed with local governmental issues to hearing the stories of its people, a hometown newspaper is vital to a community. I have felt privileged to be part of a dedicated team at The Post throughout my tenure and hope that with theirs and with local support, I will be able to continue to grow and hone in on my skills as I help share the stories in Vicksburg. When asked what I like most about my job, my answer is always ‘the people.’

email author More by Terri Cowart