UPDATE: Lightning strike causes house fire - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

UPDATE: Lightning strike causes house fire

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UPDATE: Charles Passow had a front row seat to the lighting that likely took his neighbor's home. 

“It was so loud, it scared me, it startled me,” said Charles Passow, Neighbor.

Passow and other residents nearby had to park blocks away and walk to their homes. First responders closed Hixson Pike to battle the blaze.

“Two things I was wondering, I knew they weren't home at least when I left, I knew they weren't home, I was glad for that, but then I thought about their dog,” said Passow.

Unfortunately the homeowner's dog didn't make it out in time.

“It would come out every once in a while, it's a well behaved dog, it's a cute little dog,” said Passow.

Chuck Hartung with the Chattanooga Fire Department tells Channel 3 lightning can strike anyone's home. Hartung’s home was hit three years ago. He encourages everyone to invest in a lightning rod.

“What it does is it takes that energy of that lightning strike and redistributes it away from the home,” said Chuck Hartung, Chattanooga Fire Department.

Passow says he's thankful his home is still standing and plans to help his neighbor how he can, knowing it could have happened to anyone.

“It could have been us easily and that's scary,” said Passow.

About $300,000 worth of property damage was done to the home. The homeowner has property insurance. Family and friends want everyone to pray for the homeowner.

PREVIOUS STORY: Lightning struck a home in the 2100 block of Port Royal Drive in Lakesite Thursday evening just before 7:30 starting a fire.

When Dallas Bay Volunteer firefighters arrived on the scene, they reported heavy fire through the roof and entire back of the house.  

Mutual aid was called and Sequoyah Volunter Fire and Red Bank Fire Departments responded.  

Fire officials say a neighbor saw lightning strike the chimney and within minutes fire was showing on the roofline. The homeowner was not home at the time.

The house is considered a total loss and damages are estimated at $350,000. The homeowner was insured and will be staying with family.

While firefighters were battling the blaze a section of Hixson Pike before and after the intersection of Port Royal Drive had to be shut down.  

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