Maury County home catches fire after being struck by lightning - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Maury County home catches fire after being struck by lightning

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COLUMBIA, TN (WSMV) -

While flooding has caused big problems for folks across Middle Tennessee, lightning was another big concern Monday.

Officials say a lightning actually caused a house to catch on fire in Columbia.

"Smoke billowing out from underneath the stove and the range. And I tried throwing some stuff on it myself to try and get it out," said Robert Adams, whose Witherspoon Road home caught fire about 4:30 a.m.

Within seconds, thick black smoke started filling the house.

"A lighting strike fire is difficult because sometimes the fire is in the attic space, which, once it's above the ceiling, can run the attic space and become a challenge for the firefighters to access the fire to find any hidden fire," said Maury County Fire Chief Eric Hileman.

As they tried the fight the fire, crews had to battle Mother Nature first.

"The storm was still in the area. We were still experiencing pretty serious cloud-to-ground lightning. They were in the elements in the rain," Hileman said.

Fortunately, crews were able to contain the fire to the kitchen but not before it knocked out the home's electrical system.

"If we can get the electrical back on, then I can repair the rest of it," Adams said. "But I'm laid off and unemployment run out, so I'm on shaky ground as far as getting anything done."

Adams and his fiance were awakened by the smell of smoke, but not everyone is so fortunate.

"They're extremely lucky by not having a working smoke detector in the home that they woke up to the smell of the smoke," Hileman said. "This could be a completely different outcome."

Adams says he couldn't afford renter's insurance.

The American Red Cross is putting the couple up in a hotel for a few days.

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