The Hopewell Township Police Department, along with the Pennington Fire Department, responded to the Citgo Gas Station at the corner of Route 546 and Reed Road (in Pennington / Hopewell Township) for the report of a fire on the roof. Arriving officers reported that flames were coming from a vent pipe for the underground storage tanks, which is attached to the building.
The flames dissipated a short time later. As a precaution, several homes along Route 546, Reed Road and Ingleside Avenue were evacuated while fire personnel investigated at the scene.
The investigation revealed that lightning had struck the top of the vent pipe during the brief thunderstorm that moved through the area.
The Pennington Fire Department, under the command of Chief James DeForte, along with the Hopewell Fire Company, Union Fire Company and Rescue Squad, Hopewell Valley Emergency Services, Lawrenceville Fire Department, Pennington Road Fire Department, and the West Trenton Fire Department assisted at the scene.
The vent pipe suffered minor damage. There was no structural damage to the building.
The evacuated residents were allowed to return to their homes after approximately twenty minutes.
Traffic was detoured around the area during the investigation. All roads were reopened at approximately 4:20 PM.
There were no reported injuries.
Hopewell Township Police Sergeant Kevin Zorn, along with Hopewell Valley Emergency Services Lieutenant J.D. Moore, were the lead investigators for this incident.