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Lightning strikes down old firehouse

Staff report
Chad Lundquist/Nevada Appeal A lightning strike on Friday hit the Mark Twain Fire Station that is currently being used for storage, causing severe damage to the structure and its contents, including a 1952 International fire engine being restored for parade duty.
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A Dayton building that once housed a volunteer fire department and was being used by the county to store fire gear was among the casualties of Friday’s lightning storms that sparked several blazes in Northern Nevada.

Lyon County Fire Protection District Chief John Gillenwater said the single-story building on La Fond Drive was destroyed by the fast-moving fire that spread to some of the properties five vacant acres before being contained by crews.

“It was hit by lightning and it burned up,” he said.

Gillenwater said the metal, wood and cement building originally housed the Mark Twain Volunteer Fire Department but once the station on Six Mile Canyon Road was built, the space was used to store extra fire gear.

Among the stored items were fire department records and their newly acquired parade truck, a 1952 International, that had only been used once for Little League opening day.

The chief said dispatchers received about 70 phone calls concerning the burning building, amidst dozens of other reports of fires across the county from the lightning strikes on Friday.

Among those is the Adrian fire on federal land about 10 miles south of Silver Springs and 10 miles northwest of Wabuska.

By 11 p.m. on Monday, that fire had consumed 18,000 acres and was at least six to seven miles from the closest structures to its southeast.

According to the National Weather Service, more lightning is expected today.

A fire watch is in effect from this afternoon until this evening for the Sierra Nevada and Western Nevada south of Pyramid Lake due to lightning and strong outflow winds.

Meteorologists with the National Weather Service in Reno warn a significant amount of lightning and strong winds are likely with low pressure off the California coast pulling moisture and instability northward into the region today.