Lightning may have caused Columbus Co. house fire

Reported by Max Winitz - bio|email
Posted by Debra Worley - email

COLUMBUS COUNTY, NC (WECT) - A fire nearly destroyed a house in north Whiteville Monday night.

Fire Chief Mike Bartley of the North Whiteville Fire Department said firefighters believe a lightning strike caused the blaze at a home on Memorys Corner Road.

"[The] first department on the scene was Clarkton Fire Department," said resident Erica Posey.  "When they go there, they confirmed there was fire coming out at the end of the house, and said the house was fully engulfed when they arrived."

Around 8:30 Monday evening, a strong line of thunderstorms rolled through the area where Posey's home is located.

Investigators believe a lightning strike could be to blame, and Posey's sister-in-law and neighbor agree.

"I saw a red flash come through my window and heard her screaming," said Shenika Vereen.  "I ran out the door.  Smoke was coming out there and flames were shooting out."

Posey was getting ready to take a shower when she was startled by a loud boom.  She investigated the sound to discover her home was filled with black smoke.

Posey and her dog were able to escape the home with no injuries.

The Red Cross is helping Posey and were able to provide her with some clothes and food.  She is currently staying with her parents.

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