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Lightning strike during storm ignites fire at Kings Charter home

Posted at 7:51 PM, Jul 27, 2015

HANOVER, Va. -- Neighbors watched in disbelief Monday evening as smoke billowed from a home in Hanover’s Kings Charter neighborhood.

The two-story house on Jennings Branch Court was struck by lightning during an intense thunderstorm that brought heavy rain, wind and hail.  The storm also downed several trees in the neighborhood and disrupted power.

“It was very powerful, very quickly,” said Hanover resident Adam Strichman. Strichman witnessed his neighbor’s home get struck by lightning from his front porch around 6:30 Monday night.

“I thought it struck the front yard,” Strichman exclaimed.  “It was so bright and so hot that I felt the heat down the street.”

Moments later, the Strichman family saw smoke coming from the top of the home and immediately ran to notify the homeowner, who was asleep inside.

“He went pounding on the door and I called 911,” said Suzy Strichman.

While several neighbors converged on the blazing home, others surveyed damage to their own property.

Kevin Boggess, who lives down the street, said he had just returned home when he heard a loud pop from inside his home and noticed a tree down in his front yard.

“I’m glad it didn’t hit me when I was driving up the driveway,” Boggess said.

Some neighbors said the intensity of the storm, believed to be caused by a wet microburst, was unlike anything they’ve ever seen.  One resident described the swirling nature of the storm like a “snowstorm in July.”

While several homes were damaged, the Jennings Branch house was completely destroyed by fire, smoke and water. Hanover firefighters spend most of the evening surveying the massive damages caused by the blaze.

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