APPLE VALLEY, Minn. (WCCO/AP) — Officials say severe weather is likely to blame for starting two homes on fire in Apple Valley late Sunday night.

Fire crews responded to Lower 131st Street in Apple Valley at about 11:15 p.m. Sunday on a report of a house fire. When crews arrived, they discovered what they believed to be lightning that had hit a gas meter on one of the homes. The lightning traveled along the gas line, skipping one house and igniting another house nearby.

One of the homes suffered significant damage as a result of the fire. There were no injuries in the fire, and one other house suffered minor damage. The gas has been shut off at both homes since the lightning hit.

apple valley house fire 2 Lightning Triggers House Fires In Apple Valley

(credit: CBS)

In Scott County, a 48-foot grain bin was blown into a field and a roof was ripped from an outbuilding. In Freeborn County, a wind gust of 73 mph was recorded near Conger where a trained spotter reported a roof had blown off a shed.

Right after the storm passed, there were about 17,000 Xcel Energy customers left in the dark in the Twin Cities metro. Officials said outages were wide spread, but power was back to most homes by about 1 a.m.

As of 5 a.m., about 2,500 customers were still without power.

(TM and © Copyright 2012 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved.This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)


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