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Lightning sparks fire at Northern Natural gas plant

It's a good thing lightning doesn't strike the same spot twice, because one hit last weekend could have been much worse than it was.

Sometime around 2:40 p.m. Saturday, Farmington firefighters were called to the Northern Natural Gas plant on County Road 50 in Farmington, because one of the buildings was on fire.

Farmington fire marshal John Powers believes the fire was started by a lightning strike. The National Weather Service confirmed there had been lightning in the area prior to the time when the fire started.

The fire started in the attic area above the welding shop on the business's campus, but stayed mostly contained to the area where it originated.

"The fire was really held in check thanks to the insulation that was inside the building," Powers said.

Initially, the Lakeville Fire Department had been called for mutual aid. However, local firefighters were able to get the blaze under control quickly, and Lakeville's call was cancelled. Farmington firefighters left the scene within an hour, according to Powers.

Michelle Leonard

Michelle Leonard joined the Woodbury Bulletin staff in November, 2014, after 14 years covering news for the Bulletin's sister publication, the Farmington Rosemount Independent Town Pages.  Michelle earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Mass Communications: News-Editorial from Mankato State University in 1991. She is an active member of the American Legion Auxiliary Clifford Larson Unit 189 of Farmington, and served as the 2014-15 Third District President to the American Legion Auxiliary Department of Minnesota. Michelle is also the volunteer coordinator for the Minnesota Newspaper Museum which is open annually during the Minnesota State Fair. She has earned Minnesota Newspaper Association awards in Investigative Reporting, Local News Coverage, Feature Photography and Column Writing. 

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