Nearby lightning strike causes fire in a Summerville home

SUMMERVILLE (WCSC) - The American Red Cross is assisting a Summerville family after a lightning strike triggered a fire in their attic Friday night.

Pete Holman said when he got home on Judy Street last night around 11 p.m., his air conditioning was not working and he could smell smoke throughout the house. That is when he says he called 911.

A short time later, the fire department was on the scene telling Holman to evacuate the home.

"They told me smoke was coming out of the attack and I needed to get across the street," said Holman.

Colleen Caponigro, a neighbor of the Holman's for nine years, says she was sitting on her porch Friday night watching the storm roll on. That's when she says a lightning bolt hit a tree next to the Holman's home and the sky lit up.

"It was huge. It was like something out of a movie," recalls Caponigro. "I've never seen anything like it."

A short while later the damage was done.

The home's bathroom, spare bedroom, hallway and master bedroom closet ceilings are now gone. A char odor can be smelt from the front porch.

Holman believes the lightning strike caused an electrical fire that spread throughout the attic of the house.

He says the Red Cross is now providing the family of five shelter in a local hotel.

No injuries were reported.

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