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Authorities suspect that lightning started a Saturday morning house fire, leaving a hole in the roof and the home's top portion ablaze. Submitted photo

UPDATE: Lightning strike starts house fire

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With River Falls in the lead, the Hudson Fire Department and several other area departments, responded at 11:25 a.m. Saturday, May 26 to 263 St. Anne's Parkway in Troy township after a caller reported seeing smoke and flames coming from a hole lightning had torn in the roof.

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About 60 firefighters responded to the blaze, with water tankers and backup personnel coming from Hudson, Roberts, Prescott, Spring Valley, United, St. Joe and Ellsworth in Wisconsin and from Lake Elmo and the Lower St. Croix Valley in Minnesota. St. Croix County Sheriff's deputies, as well as the River Falls Ambulance service also responded to the emergency.

Property records show the home and lot to be valued around $1 million and owned by Norbert and Pamela Biderman, who were not home at the time the fire started.

Responders found the home's roof engulfed in heavy smoke and flames. High winds drove the fire quickly through the structure, forcing firefighters out and hampering their efforts.

River Falls Fire Chief Scott Nelson confirmed that the fire caused no injuries but damage to the home was "significant." Hudson Fire Chief Jim Frye confirmed that assessment. He said the Hudson Fire Department cleared the scene at about 3:30 p.m.

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