Summer camp set ablaze by lightning strike

Blog Post created by jdepalo Employee on Aug 22, 2018


A summer camp on Long Island suffered serious damage as a lightning strike set several buildings on fire. Just after celebrating its 50th anniversary, Usdan Summer Camp for the Arts had two art studios destroyed by the fire, while other buildings nearby were also affected. Emergency vehicles navigated the narrow roads of a predominantly wooded campus just after 7:15 pm, requiring about 75 first responders to bring the fire under control, according to Newsday.


When responders first arrived on the scene they found a burnt out electrical transformer that had been struck by lightning. It wasn’t until later that they returned to the camp to find an art building ablaze. A firefighter and camp employee were taken to the hospital with minor injuries.


The camp estimates at least $250,000 worth of damage, and a representative told NFPA that a campaign called the Reimagine Fund has been launched to help rebuild the Visual Art Department and upgrade overall infrastructure.


Executive Director, Lauren Brandt Schloss, wrote on the camp’s website "I want to express my extreme gratitude to the Melville Fire Department and Suffolk County Police Department. Their quick and efficient work ensured minimal impact on our campus. Additionally, I am so thankful for the support of the Usdan community. This summer, nearly 2000 students and staff, along with their families, brought these grounds to life. Together, we can, and will, weather any storm."


An NFPA report states that lightning-related fires are more common in June through August and in the late afternoon and evening. Check out these safety tips for more information.