Lighting strikes can cause damaging fires to homes - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Lighting strikes can cause damaging fires to homes

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ALBANY, GA (WALB) -

A Lee County family knows the devastation lightning that comesalong with these thunderstorms can cause.

A lightning strike caused a damaging fire Sunday.

As the rain continues to move in and out our area, be watchful oflightning. Strikes could come without any notice.

After this home in Lee County caught fire Sunday and displaced thefamily, fire officials want people to pay more attention to lightning strikes.

"In Dougherty County we had three last month, fortunatelythey didn't do a lot of damage, but they did hit the house," said Chief JamesCarswell, Albany Fire Department.

Lee County fire officials believe lightning is the cause of thehouse fire on Willow Lake Drive.

While no one can stop lightning from striking their home, thereare some things you can do to prevent extensive damage.

"Any electronic devices, any appliances you can unplug,unplug them because if lightning does strike it could go through and damage thoseunits also," said Carswell.

"When a lighting strike a house, it usually jumps a ride onall the electrical wires and that that's why a lot of people will unplugwashers, dryers and radios, telephones," said Davis Edwards, D&D TreeServices and More.

Another preventive measure to avoid damage is the use of alightning rod, especially during severe weather.

"They advertise that they would minimize the opportunity of afire starting from a lightning strike. Not necessarily saying it would preventa lightning strike," said Carswell.

The home on Willow Lake Drive sustained severe damage, especiallyupstairs and in the attic, but firefighters were able to keep the fire fromdestroying the entire house.

Lee County fire officials say all indicators are pointing tolightning as the cause, but the fire is still under investigation.

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