Lightning strikes to blame for 2 Fayetteville house fires

Friday, August 10, 2018
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Two families are burned out of their homes after lightning strikes sparked fires.

FAYETTEVILLE, NC (WTVD) -- Severe weather is likely to blame for two house fires in Fayetteville.

Storms began rolling through Wednesday afternoon and continued through midnight, but Fayetteville fire crews said things got busy about 4 p.m. when they were called to Williwood Drive.

The home was already on fire by the time crews got there, but thankfully the family had escaped. Crews said they believe lightning struck the roof and spread to the attic.

Hours later, the Fayetteville Fire Department responded to Havliah Street near Bragg Boulevard about 10 p.m. Lightning also struck that roof and sent the attic bursting into flames.

Three people inside escaped. Their neighbors saw the bolt and immediately called 911.

"All of a sudden we heard this huge bang and we looked over and we saw sparks so I ran out my bedroom and then she started coming out of the door. We called the fire company and they were here in about five minutes," Cynthia Bernard said.

They said, "Mother nature knows no boundaries so when it comes to protecting your home from lightning, fire officials say you can outsmart her."

"There are systems that you can protect your home with. Again the lightning wants to get around as quick as it can if it comes to your house," said Capt. T.J McLamb.

When it comes to protecting yourself, Chief McLamb said the best place to be when a storm passes through is indoors.