NORTH FULTON COUNTY, Ga. - Sandy Springs fire officials are blaming a Monday afternoon house fire on lightning.
Anne Collins told Channel 2’s Mike Petchenik a violent storm was passing over her neighborhood on Heards Overlook Drive when it happened.
“Pouring rain, thunder and lightning,” Collins said. “There was a sudden explosion. You could see it; A bright light in my bedroom.”
Collins said she checked her own home to make sure there wasn’t any damage, and then went outside and saw smoke and flames coming from her next door neighbor’s house.
“I feel badly for them but they’re safe,” she said. “There’s nobody there.”
Fire officials confirm the homeowner is on vacation and nobody was inside at the time.
“Pretty good damage inside the attic area,” Deputy Fire Chief Mark Duke said. “We’re still pretty confident this is from a lightning strike, judging from lightning in the area and a few trees struck.”
In fact, Duke told Petchenik his own crews had to duck for cover as the storm passed overhead.
“We actually had two additional lightning strikes while the guys were pulling the hose,” he said. “Made for a harrowing moment there for a second.”
Duke told Petchenik lightning strikes can be tricky for firefighters.
“A lot of time they can do damage where you don’t see it for a few hours,” he said. “That’s why it’s good for homeowners to be vigilant during the lighting storms.”