Lightning sparks multiple home fires in New Hanover County

Reported by Max Winitz - bio|email
Posted by Peter Smelser - email

NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (WECT) - Strong thunderstorms early Friday evening leaves two New Hanover County families homeless.

Lightning strikes sparked fires and badly damage two homes around 5:30 PM on North Bend Street off of Middle Sound Loop Road and on Beddoes Road in the Porters Neck area.

According to neighbors, smoke filled the air like fog after Mother Nature struck the home on North Bend Street.

"The storm rode up pretty quickly," said Jim Musselwhite, a witness to the fire. "We were sitting in the house and we hear sirens come by all the time. We didn't think twice about it, but we lifted up the windows to see what was going on and smelled smoke."

Around the same time as the Middle Sound fire, a home was struck by lightning off of Porters Neck Road.

"When I opened the refrigerator door, the house got struck by lighting" said Tim Parent. "I felt the electricity in my arm."

The Parent family lost the entire upstairs portion of their home, but they were happy everyone made it out OK.

"I am grateful I have my children and grandchildren, that they are safe and that is what is important," said Jane Parent.

Both fires remain under investigation.

©2009 WECT. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten,

or redistributed.