Strong storms spark lightning fire

Storms passed through Sat. evening, sparking a house fire in Raleigh

April 10, 2011 8:23:22 AM PDT
Strong storms swept through the Triangle area late in the afternoon and early in the evening Saturday. Lightning flashed across the sky and heavy rain fell, but the storms were never considered severe.

Authorities say lightning from those strong storms sparked a house fire in Raleigh.

Firefighters responded to a home located on Harbour Towne Drive around 8:00 p.m. Saturday.

Fire crews say lightning hit the house, causing the blaze.

Nobody was home at the time, but the moments leading up to the fire were pretty scary for neighbors in the area.

They were just waiting for the storms to pass through whey they say they saw a flash of light.

"We were outside on the porch and there was this huge lighting strike - we saw it hit the ground and right after that, we immediately saw smoke and smelled it," Eyewitness Shelley Stafford said.

Stafford called 911 after seeing the lightning strike; Todd Shamel also lives nearby and watched firefighters fight the blaze.

"The smoke dissipated and they were actually looking from house to house to try and figure out exactly where the fire was and you heard one of the fireman say, oh over here and at that point, two or three other fired trucks showed up, " Shamel said.

The fire department division chief told ABC11 at the scene, that most of the damage was contained to the attic. Crews were able to get to the fire and put it out.

The chief says there was some smoke and water damage to the house, but it was relatively minor damage given what could have happened.

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