Forsyth Co. homes damaged by falling trees, lightning fires

by: Amy Napier Viteri Updated:


CUMMING, Ga. - A Forsyth County family got out safely after lightning sparked a fire at their home Wednesday night.

Neighbor Greg Verhelle recorded home video of the smoke and flames on Crossland Drive in Cumming.  He said there was lots of lightning at the time.

"Obviously we were concerned about the strikes. We heard some come so close, and shortly after we heard a big bang," Verhelle said.

"All of a sudden smoke was just all around the neighborhood. you're running through smoke," neighbor Taylor Wood said.

Jonathan Brown said he was outside working on his lawnmower when he saw the bolt of lightning hit his neighbor's house.

"When it struck the house, I kind of was knocked over by the fear of what the sound was and kind of the brightness," he said.

Brown ran to the home and banged on the door to warn his neighbor and her two daughters, who didn't realize their fire alarm was alerting them to the real thing.

"They couldn't get the fire alarm off. And I was yelling at them, 'Hey your house is on fire!' So they started running out of the house screaming and crying,” Brown said.
The fire caused heavy damage to the back of the home, particularly the roof and second floor.

Forsyth County Fire Division Chief Jason Shivers told Channel 2's Amy Napier Viteri two firefighters suffered minor injuries due to the wet conditions when fighting the fire.

Several Forsyth County homes were also damaged by falling trees during Wednesday’s storms.

Three homes at the Homesteaders Mobile Home Park in Cumming were destroyed by trees, and two others were damaged.

Sam Sanchez told Channel 2’s Eric Philips he was at work when the storm system sneaked up on his home with his young cousin inside.

“We lost the house, so I don’t know what we’re going to do about this,” Sanchez said.

One person suffered minor injuries.

Sanchez said he has feared it was just a matter of time before falling trees damaged homes in the park.

“We’ve reported this many times. Never came to cut the trees,” Sanchez said.