A lightning strike during a strong thunderstorm is the likely cause of a fire that damaged a barn in Falmouth on Thursday evening, according to the town’s fire chief.

Chief Howard Rice said neighbors on Country Lane heard a loud bang just before a fire started in a large two-story barn at 3 Country Lane about 6:15 p.m. By the time Rice arrived on the scene three minutes later, there was an active fire and neighbors had helped a woman who had been inside the barn to safety.

A “very strong” thunderstorm had moved through town just before the suspected lightning strike, but the rain stopped as crews arrived at the scene.

Firefighters from Falmouth and Portland were able to contain the bulk of the fire to the 3-bay garage section of the barn, which also contains a two-story residence.

“Crews worked to keep the the fire from spreading to the residence and were aided by a fire wall that had been built to separate the garage area from the living area and by several doors that were closed within the barn itself,” Rice said.

The residence sustained some smoke and water damage, but no fire damage, according to Rice.

There were no injuries.

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