Lightning strike believed cause of fatal fire in Sandwich

·1 min read

Aug. 6—A 84-year-old woman has died in a house fire in Sandwich that officials say was caused by a lightning strike.

Janet Brown died from smoke inhalation, according to a news release from the state fire marshal's office. The New Hampshire Medical Examiner's Office performed an autopsy on Friday and ruled her death accidental.

Firefighters responded to a report of a fire at 247 Bennett St. in Sandwich shortly before 11 p.m. Thursday and found the home in flames. Brown was found dead inside the home during the firefighting effort.

Officials said the cause of the fire appears to have been a lightning strike, but the investigation is continuing.

State Fire Marshal Sean Toomey said the tragedy is a reminder of the importance of having working smoke alarms in homes. And if a fire does occur, immediately leave the house and call 911, Toomey advised.