Lightning Blamed for Dow Chemical Plant Fire

May 16, 2012 Updated: May 16, 2012

The cause of a Dow Chemical plant fire in the Pennsylvania town of Bristol is being blamed on lightning, according to local reports. At least one death was reported in connection with the fire.

Robert Miller, a resident of Brisol who lives four blocks from the plant, said he heard thunder or an explosion in the early morning hours on Wednesday. After that, “the fire alarm went off immediately. The sirens went off like crazy—like I’ve never heard them before,” he told the Philadelphia Inquirer.

The newspaper reported that a “large orange ball of flame” was sent into the sky as a result of the chemical plant fire.

Officials said Fire Police Capt. Dave Wintz responded to the fire and fell ill, later being taken home. He was later sent to the hospital and was pronounced dead of cardiac arrest, ABC-6 reported.

His death is “a great loss for the community,” Bristol Fire Company Deputy Chief Francis Hufnell said, according to ABC-6.

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