Crews battle 4 Hickory fires; 2 set by lightning

Hickory firefighters were kept very busy Thursday morning, battling four blazes in about eight hours.

Two of the fires were caused by lightning, officials said. One person was injured.

The first fire was reported about 1:20 a.m. at an apartment in the 300 block of 13th Avenue NW. When crews arrived, they found flames and smoke coming from the apartment.

Firefighters contained the blaze to an upstairs bedroom but said one person was injured. Damages were “moderate,” according to Hickory officials, who said the cause was smoking-related.

The next blaze was shortly after 4 a.m. at a residence on 31st Avenue NW. Crews said they didn’t see a fire when they arrived but soon found a homeowner working to extinguish the blaze on his rear deck.

After putting out the fire, crews said they used thermal imaging equipment to make sure the blaze hadn’t spread to the walls of the home.

Then a strong thunderstorm touched off two blazes about 9:15 a.m. at houses in the 500 block of 12th Avenue NE. In one case, an outbuilding was hit by lightning, causing major damage to an automobile and other contents inside.