Lightning blamed for fatal fire

Severe weather appears to have started a fatal house fire in Lakefield Township that claimed one man’s life. The Luce County Sheriff’s Department believe seventy-nine-year-old Forrest Alan Rank was the sole occupant and lone victim of the residential structure fire.

Emergency units were dispatched to the scene just before 6:00 this morning at 23340 County Road 438 in Luce County. Upon arrival, responders found the residence fully engulfed in flames. The preliminary investigation has led authorities to believe that a lightning strike during Wednesday night’s severe thunder storms may have caused the fire. The incident is still under investigation.  No further information is available at this time.

The Luce County Sheriff’s Department was assisted on the scene by the Columbus Township Fire Department, the Newberry Fire Department, Luce County EMS, and Luce County Auxiliary units.