HAMILTON COUNTY (WRCB) -- As severe weather rolled through the Tennessee Valley, Dallas Bay firefighters had their hands full battling an early morning blaze.

A neighbor says a loud boom startled him.

Alan Hockert says, "I heard a very loud clap of thunder, it was very close to my house. It was one of those where the time between the flash and boom was like zero."

Firefighters say lightning could be the cause, but are still sifting though the burned shell for clues.

The house was a vacation home for a doctor who wasn't there at the time. The flames were so intense, they destroyed a boat in the driveway.

Hockert says he didn't realize the storm would cause so much damage.

"Generally these hits are a tree or something that doesn't require anyone to do anything," he says.

The storm system brought a soaking rain along with lightning.

A county spokesperson says thankfully, no one was home because the exact target of severe weather is unpredictable.

Hockert says as part of the "welcome home" committee, he never hoped to break news like this to anyone in the neighborhood.

About $80,000 worth of damage was done to the home, where we are told the fire started in the family and laundry room.

Fire investigators are still trying to determine a cause.