Lightning strikes home, starts fire during storm

July 30, 2010 4:15:24 AM PDT
Severe thunderstorms moved through the Triangle Thursday night bringing damage to Wake County - some of the worst was at a home between Apex and Cary.

Lightning struck a house on Gumleaf Drive causing a fire in the attic.

"There was a lot of lightning, you know," eyewitness John Crandall explained. "Sky was everywhere, you know. It was lighting up left and right. So, at some moments it looked like it was daytime."

About the same time, Duke Nurse Shannon Snyder was driving home from work and saw the fire.

"I'm not sure if I saw the lightning or the first big bursts of the fire, but you could see it," Snyder said.

When she realized a fire had started, she grabbed her stethoscope and joined another Good Samaritan in an effort to alert people.

"We weren't sure it was the forest or a house," Snyder said. "And we determined it was a house. The gentleman jumped over the fence and I found the entrance, and we started knocking on doors."

No one was in the house that caught fire, and the blaze did not spread to the neighbors' homes.

There was more damage elsewhere.

In Fuquay-Varina, lightning struck a home, but the homeowner was able to extinguish it.

Officials say another home nearby was hit by a tree.

During the storms, winds reached 60 mph with gusts that likely were higher.

Over in Raleigh, a tree fell on a house in the 900 block of East Martin Street, but no one was home.

And down the block, drains backed up with storm debris, flooding streets near downtown. Multiple areas experienced flooding, including streets near Glenwood and Wade avenues, Capital Blvd and Peace Street.

Progress Energy reported hundreds of outages, but crews were able to restore power to homes late Thursday night.

ABC11 Eyewitness News Chief Meteorologist Chris Hohmann says a cold front will push across the region early Friday with drier air moving in through the day .

Temperatures will remain warm in the 90s, but expect lower humidity with some showers developing far south of the viewing area.

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