Severe weather swept through the Tennessee Valley, in Sale Creek lightning struck a tree somewhere near the back a property on Leggett Road and sparked a fire that destroyed a home.
"I started hearing claps thunder pretty loud, but I must've missed one of them. Finally it woke me up and I smelled smoke,” Neighbor Loren Humphrey described.
Bill Klingensmith the Fire Marshall with Sale Creek Volunteer Fire Department Sheriffs Office said when firefighters got there the flames quickly spread throughout the home.
"The back part of the house, there was a small fire, but then we got some blasts of wind down there and then it turned into full bloom,” Klingensmith said.
Thankfully the homeowner and his two dogs made it out unharmed. However, nearby neighbors worried the high winds could've put their homes at risk.
"I saw these plumes of smoke, but the flames were leaping as high as a tree and sparks were hitting my house,” said Humphrey.
The home is tucked away in a wooded area, making it difficult for firefighters to get trucks and water lines to the home.
"We were kind of expecting we would have downed trees across the road but no this is a lot worse than downed trees,” said Klingensmith.
Others in Sale Creek report lightning strikes on their property too. The Nelson family's water well was damaged leaving them without any water. They say the area is prone to severe storms.
"They say lightning never strikes twice, but we've been hit five times... Moving somewhere else. Just to get away from the lightening because one day it might be that,” Mike Nelson said.
Firefighters said hot spots at the center of the home were difficult to get under control. Klingensmith said the home did not have working smoke alarms and is a total loss.
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900 Whitehall Road
Chattanooga, TN 37405
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