Lightning strike results in unknown fire with family inside High Ridge home

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by Elizabeth Eisele/ KMOV.com

KMOV.com

Posted on June 22, 2014 at 4:13 PM

Updated Sunday, Jun 22 at 5:14 PM

(KMOV.com) – A family in Jefferson County received quite the scare when a lightning strike pierced through the roof of their home and threw flames out the microwave in the kitchen. But officials said a lingering problem left behind could have been disastrous, a fire in the attic.

The lightning strike happened during Saturday’s storms at a home near High Ridge on Brighton Court and neighbor, Liz Link, noticed the flames.

“We were just sitting out on the patio. It happened so fast,” Link said, “Just a big boom, the sky lit up and sparks were flying off the roof.”

The lightning left a hole not only in the roof, but in the microwave and burn marks. Stephanie Holtman was inside the kitchen when the lightning struck.

“Standing in the kitchen, [I] heard a loud boom,” Holtman said, “Kind of sounded like a bomb going off actually. And the microwave door came flying open and a flame came out.”

But Holtman didn’t know the lightning had sparked a fire in the attic until her neighbor had run over to tell them.

“Smoke detectors are not required up in the attic area,” High Ridge Fire Chief Michael Arnhart explained, “That could have smoldered for quite some time with the insulation. By the time they would have been notified of the fire, it could have been disastrous results.”  

By the time firefighters arrived, rainwater had fallen through the hole. Combine that water with the water firefighters used to fight the blaze, and the ceiling over the kitchen received more water than it could handle.

Despite the repairs to be made and fried electronics to replace, no one was hurt. Firefighters said this home was the third in the subdivision to be struck by lightning in recent years.

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