Lightning may have caused house fire

CITY OF HURSTBOURNE, KY (WAVE) - Lightning may be to blame for igniting a house fire in the City of Hurstbourne.  It happened around 3 p.m. Saturday afternoon at a home on Denington Drive.

Lyndon Fire Chief Russ Rakestraw said the lightning strike blew a hole through the roof.  Homeowners Jamal and Mona Aboulhosn were inside.  "We were in the bedroom.  I was watching TV and she was trying to take a little nap and we heard a boom," Jamal Aboulhosn said.

"We knew it had hit the house and our TV went off at the same time," Mona Aboulhosn said.

Neighbor, Terry Winders heard the impact from across the street.  He described the noise as an explosion.  "Boy it sounded like the whole half of the house blew up," he said.

Jamal Aboulhosn remembered running outside and seeing smoke.  "I told my wife, let's get out," Jamal Aboulhosn said.  He then, called 911.  Winders watched it unfold.  He said only 5 minutes passed before the fire became intense.  "Boy by the time the fire trucks showed up, the whole roof was a blaze," Winders said.  "I just didn't expect that kind of a fire that quickly," he continued.

It took firefighters about 35 minutes to get the fire under control.  Chief Rakestraw said part of the roof collapsed, the attic was damaged and the first and second floors had water damage.  Firefighters recovered some items from the home, including pictures.

After he saw what happened to his neighbors' home, Winders said he may make an investment.  "I want to get a lightning rod for my house," Winders said.

Chief Rakestraw said lightning can strike at any time.  A lightning rod can protect your home.  He said it allows the strike to pass through the rod and into the ground instead of hitting the home.

Chief Rakestraw estimates at least $200,000 dollars worth of damage.