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Neighbors said thunder, lightning struck just before home was engulfed in flames

Posted at 11:03 PM, May 24, 2020

FORT WRIGHT, Ky. — Jeffrey Roberts was standing in his kitchen when he heard a crash of thunder and saw the bright flash of lightning. When he looked outside, moments later, his neighbor's home was in flames.

"Seemed like just seconds later, looked out the back door to see what the sky looked like and we saw black smoke rolling out of the garage of the house here, two doors up," said Roberts.

Fort Wright fire crews rushed to the scene, but when they arrived, the garage was already fully engulfed and flames were moving up the roof of the home. The fire department said it hasn't yet confirmed what exactly started the fire, but they're looking at a lightning strike as a possibility after investigators heard the same story from several neighbors.

"They had heard a lightning strike in the area, if you will, a clap of thunder," said Lt. Jeff Hatter, with the City of Fort Wright Fire Department. "And next thing you know, the building was on fire."

Roberts said he and his wife called 911 when they spotted the smoke and rushed over to see if they could help. No one was home in the house, but the family's dog did not survive the blaze. Hatter said the entire home is a complete loss.

"Neighbor Sam, across the street, brought some clothes over for the gentleman who lives there to help him out," said Roberts. "This is a great neighborhood. This is a nice community."

The Red Cross arrived on scene to offer assistance to the family living in the home.