JANESVILLE

Sometimes lightning does strike twice.

A Victorian home on East Milwaukee Street that owners said was hit by lightning in the 1970s experienced a similar incident Friday morning, Janesville fire officials said.

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Janesville firefighters fight a fire at 823 E. Milwaukee St. after the house was struck by lightning Friday morning. No one was home at the time. A similar lightning strike occurred in the 1970s, according to the homeowner.

Janesville firefighters responded at about 10:18 a.m. Friday to 823 E. Milwaukee St. for a report of a lightning strike, said Deputy Chief Bill Ruchti.

No one was inside the three-story home at the time, and no one was injured, he said.

After the lightning got into the electrical wiring, it caused a fire, he said. Crews still were on the scene Friday afternoon, so he did not have a damage estimate.

Ruchti said the damage was mostly limited to the second and third floors.

Crews had to open up some walls to look at wiring.

A neighbor reported the fire.

Ruchti said it’s not uncommon to have lightning strike like this.

However, the area has coincidentally been the site of several fires in recent months.

A Sept. 4 fire at 812 E. Milwaukee St. left a detached garage unsalvageable, the fire department said at the time.

A July 21 fire at a duplex on nearby Harrison Street displaced three people and caused about $45,000 in damage.

Another home on that street caught fire Aug. 5.

“The first thing the homeowner said is, ‘Oh my gosh, this neighborhood has been getting hammered with fires,’” Ruchti said.

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Janesville firefighters use an aerial ladder while fighting a house fire at 823 E. Milwaukee St. on Friday morning.

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