The Merrill Fire Department responded early Sunday morning to a house fire, possibly caused by a lightning strike, at W5084 South Shore Drive, in the Town of Merrill.
The initial response to the scene included Engine 2, Tender 65 and Medic 1. Upon arrival, the Shift Commander assumed Incident Command and reported smoke and fire was visible on the west side of the building.  
Command ordered the first arriving engine company to deploy an aggressive interior attack with a pre-connect hose line from the unburned side of the structure. When the fire company made entry into the house, they made their way to the seat of the fire and brought the main fire under control. A second hose line was deployed to extinguish the fire on the exterior of the structure. On scene companies created a ventilation hole in the roof to remove the excessive smoke and heat from the fire. After the fire was extinguished, salvage and overhaul operation took place.
Interviews were conducted by the Fire Department with the homeowner and he reported that there was a thunderstorm running through the area when he heard a loud lightning strike. The homeowner contacted his insurance agent and fire has been deemed to be storm related. No injuries to citizens or on scene firefighters were reported. The damage is estimated at $50,000 to the structure and contents.