Metro Atlanta teacher’s home destroyed by lightning strike during storms

Metro Atlanta teacher loses home to lightning strike

GWINNETT COUNTY, Ga. — A metro Atlanta teacher's home was destroyed by a lightning strike during storms on Saturday.

Channel 2′s Steve Gehlbach was in Gwinnett County, where lightning struck the home on Brookridge Drive near Snellville.

Cat Kelly was out shopping when she got a call that her house was on fire and rushed back. Her dog and cat managed to escape, but the fire destroyed everything inside.

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A neighbor captured video of the flames shooting out from the top of the house after the lightning struck around 4:30 p.m.

Kelly told Gehlbach she doesn't have renter's insurance and doesn't know where to turn now, but she's thankful her precious pets made it out alive.

“I’ve got my animals and they’re alive. They won’t come out from under the bed, but they’re alive and I’m alive,” Kelly said. That’s just stuff. It’s a house, my home, but it’s just stuff.”

Kelly said she’s lucky she was not home when the fire started.

“Had I been home, i would have been dead,” Kelly said. “That’s where I stay, in that bed room.”

Kelly works as a special education teacher at Lovin Elementary in Lawrenceville. She's getting help from the American Red Cross, friends and fellow teachers, as well as neighbors who are now reaching out.

“I just can’t believe it. I’ve got people I didn’t know before and friends who made a GoFundMe page for me,” Kelly said. “I’m going to get through it.”

Kelly came back to her house Sunday to try to collect some things but just couldn’t do it emotionally. The Red Cross gave her money for a few nights in a hotel and a few things to get by on. She still has her job and goes back to teaching next month.

After losing nearly everything, she said she has more to be grateful for than sad about.

“For now, I’m in a hotel, I’m alive and I’m OK,” Kelly said. “I’m just trying to take it day-by-day.”

You can help Kelly by donating to her GoFundMe page HERE.

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