In a startling turn of events, a powerful lightning bolt struck a residence in upper Westmount during a brief yet severe thunderstorm on Wednesday afternoon. The incident has prompted emergency responses and raised concerns about the potential impact on neighboring structures.
Around 2 p.m., occupants of a single-family house situated on Bellevue Ave. dialed 911 to report that their home had been struck by lightning. Subsequently, a passer-by also contacted emergency services to relay the same shocking occurrence, according to Montreal Fire Department spokesperson, Alain Laflamme.
With the rapid mobilization of resources, 17 fire trucks and approximately 60 firefighters quickly converged on the scene, located near The Boulevard and in proximity to Sunnyside Ave. Despite being categorized as a single-alarm fire, firefighters remained vigilant due to the possible extension of the blaze to nearby buildings. The closely spaced houses within the block and the presence of a private school nearby raised concerns about the fire’s potential spread.
The fire originated in the basement of the three-story dwelling and subsequently spread to the first floor. Fortunately, the efforts of the firefighting team managed to gain control of the flames by 3:15 p.m., averting further destruction. Thankfully, no injuries were reported in connection with the incident.
Earlier that day, specifically at 1:36 p.m., Environment Canada had released a “severe thunderstorm watch,” subsequently elevating it to a severe thunderstorm warning. The warning highlighted the possibility of heavy downpours and anticipated rainfall measuring between 30 to 50 millimeters. However, by 2:19 p.m., the warning was lifted, followed by the lifting of the watch shortly thereafter.
While the evening hours may see some additional scattered showers, the overall weather forecast predicts a respite from rain in the city for approximately a week, based on Environment Canada’s extended weather projections.
The thunderstorm on Wednesday morning had already impacted the region, resulting in the temporary closure of sections of several highways due to heavy downpours. Notably, the intense weather conditions of the day have left a remarkable impact on the Westmount neighborhood.