A Tuesday afternoon thunderstorm with heavy rain and lightning caused home fires, power outages and trees and power lines to come down throughout the area.

The National Weather Service put out a severe thunderstorm warning for the area Tuesday. The storm, which moved in about 4 p.m., hit the Bethel area, but not much in Danbury, said Bill Jacquemin , meteorologist for the Connecticut Weather Center . He said the storm, which had thunder and lightning, traveled through Ridgefield and Danbury, then to the Newtown area. Between 4 p.m. and 4:35 p.m., six-tenths of an inch of rain fell. The air then stabilized and the thunderstorms died out. The Connecticut Light and Power outages Web site, reported at 6 p.m. Tuesday that 117 out of 7,965 total Bethel customers had their power interrupted, and in Newtown 251 of the total 10,729 customers had power interrupted. Danbury, New Fairfield, Redding and Southbury also had minor outages. By 10 p.m., CL&P's outage Web site reported that 191 Newtown customers and 41 Danbury customers were still without power. Shortly after the storm began, two trees came down in Danbury across Reservoir Road, near the Bethel town line, said Danbury Police. The trees were removed from the road. Around 8 p.m., a CL&P pole at a Danbury car wash's parking lot on Main Street began to lean over. CL&P workers were out on the scene in about 20 minutes to fix it. The pole has three transformers on it and there was a concern that it could be damaged. Power was lost for a short period of time, but restored. Sandy Hook Volunteer Fire & Rescue Company was perhaps the busiest unit in the area during the holiday storm.
Bill Halstead
, chief of the Sandy Hook Volunteer Fire & Rescue Company and fire marshal for Newtown, said the company got a call around 4:30 p.m. that a large pine tree fell on Route 34 near Toddy Hill Road and took wires down. Then around 5 p.m. they were called to School House Hill Road to assist volunteer firefighters with Newtown Hook & Ladder Company. Halstead said it appeared that lightning hit a detached garage and went down a drain pipe to the house. A gas heater caught fire in the house and a second floor room was damaged. Around 5:15 p.m., they went to a Bristele Lane home, where lightning struck an invisible pet fence system, causing damage to it and damaging the property's well. Around 5:20 p.m., Sandy Hook Volunteer Fire & Rescue Company responded to a structure fire on Hemlock Trail. Lightning struck a tree in front of the house and somehow made its' way to the side of a house, said Halstead, who believes the home is totaled, but is still investigating. Botsford Fire Company in Newtown and Hawleyville Volunteer Fire Company assisted. Around 6:30 p.m.
Hawleyville Volunteer Fire Department responded to a call at a home on Taunton Lake Road that was hit by lightning, said Hawleyville Volunteer Fire Department's assistant chief Bill Brunetti Jr. A tree about 60 or 70 feet away from the house was struck by lightning. The lightning traveled through the ground to the house and blew off a telephone box mounted on the side of the house. There was no smoke and no fire, said Brunetti. The power surge caused one resident of the home to lose their oxygen machine's power and caused the home's stove and dishwasher to be ruined, he said. Brunetti said after that call the Hawleyville Volunteer Fire Department went to the intersection of Taunton Hill Road and Taunton Lane Road where a tree fell in to telephone and power wires. CL&P came to assist at the scene. Because of the threat of another possible storm Tuesday night, Ridgefield officials called off the town's fireworks display at Ridgefield High School . The fireworks are rescheduled for Saturday at the high school when it gets dark, said Ridgefield police. Jacquemin of the Connecticut Weather Center said by the end of the week and into the weekend, there should be nice weather with lower humidity, warm temperatures and sunny skies.

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