APPLE VALLEY, Minn. (WCCO) – As many as five homes had to be evacuated Thursday afternoon after at least one lightning strike caused a fire and a gas leak, authorities said.

Fire crews were called at about 11 a.m. to the 200 block of Belmont Court in Apple Valley on a report of a house fire. While on the way, a report came out that a second house on the same block was also on fire.

When crews arrived, everyone from the two homes was evacuated. Officials said the fire was contained to the area around the gas meters.

Crews with Centerpoint Energy responded to the scene and found that three other homes had suffered damaged to their gas meters as a result of the lightning strike. Officials evacuated those three homes and turned off the gas in the area, authorities said.

It was just one area of several that was hit by hail, lightning and torrential rainfall Thursday morning. And it’s not over yet as a much higher threat of severe weather is expected to hit the Twin Cities metro Thursday afternoon and into the evening.

Gallery: Thursday’s Severe Weather

Apple Valley Fire Chief Nealon Thompson said seven people were evacuated from five homes. No residents or firefighters were injured in the incident.


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