Lightning possible cause of Chesterfield house fire

Posted at 9:40 PM, Apr 25, 2014
and last updated 2014-04-25 23:39:56-04

(WTVR) - Pounding rain, lightning and thunder rumbled through Central Virginia Friday evening, causing traffic backups, flooding and even some property damage.

“I saw the lightning strike the house,” Lamont Gates, who lives behind a home that caught fire, said.

Gates and other neighbors in his Chesterfield Neighborhood said they saw a bright flash and heard a loud boom before the power went out.

“The power went off…everything…maybe for seconds…and the back,” Julio Serrano said.

Serrano lives next door to the home on Melody Court that caught on fire around 5 p.m. on Friday.

“I saw a lot of fire and smoke, and I called 911,” Serrano said.

Firefighters believe the fire started in the basement.

Nobody was home at the time of the fire, and the Fire Marshal is still working to figure out if lightning is to blame.

“Of course we have had a lot of lightening here recently, and it’s still going on, so that’s something we’ll be looking at closely,” Brian Kemp with Chesterfield Fire and EMS said.

Just a few miles from Melody Court, another Chesterfield home was possibly struck by lightning.

“Lightning came through the bedroom, it was almost as if it came through the fire detector into the room,” Derek Rivers, the homeowner, said.

Rivers said it is hard to figure out how the lightning struck under his roof, but he is thankful the damage was minimal.

“The only thing I worry about is trees falling on my house, lightning, I never would have thought about that striking my house,” Rivers said.