Lightning starts house fires and tornado shows up on Eastern Plains during severe weather day

By Sarah Baines on April 26, 2024

In typical Colorado spring fashion, Thursday’s weather brought tornados, rain and lightning, the latter of which resulted in some house fires.

Three homes were struck by lightning in Broomfield, Evergreen and Erie. This was the state’s first severe weather day of 2024, with many meteorologists anticipating hail, wind and tornados. The weather also suspended RTD’s E and H line trains due to lightning in the area.

The first home struck was in Broomfield on W. 154th Ave. shortly after 4 p.m. A family was inside the home at the time of the strike and called 911. The house caught on fire, but the family and their dogs escaped safely, according to North Metro Fire Rescue officials. Damage was caused to the roof and attic, but the fire was extinguished shortly after it started.

The second incident happened shortly thereafter in Evergreen around 4:30 p.m on Denver View Drive. Those inside the house evacuated and called 911. Unlike the home in Broomfield, the structure didn’t catch on fire, although firefighters found a hole in the side of the house.

Also around 4:30 p.m., firefighters responded to house fire on Homestead Road in Erie caused by lightning striking the front of the house, which was put out in roughly 30 minutes. No one was home at the time, but, according to the homeowner, Sandeep Gundlupet Raju, there was some damage to the garage, roof and a bedroom.

The Front Range and Foothills weren’t the only areas of the state that experienced extreme weather.

The first tornado of the season in Colorado touched down 13 miles southwest of Akron at about 3:25 p.m. Thursday. Akron is located in Washington County about 115 miles northeast of Denver on the Eastern Plains.

The event was classified as a landspout tornado, which is characterized by a “narrow, rope-like condensation funnel that forms while the thunderstorm cloud is still growing and there is no rotating updraft – the spinning motion originates near the ground,” according to the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration. They typically form when numerous storms combine, which was the case on Thursday. Landspout tornados are common on the Eastern Plains.

The tornado was reportedly moving 25 mph northeast. No reports of injury or property damage resulted.

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