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Lightning hits house in McMullen Cove, causes devastating fire

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OWENS CROSS ROADS, Ala. - A house in McMullen Cove, off Little Cove Road, was apparently struck by lightning Tuesday morning.

The house is on Oakshire Place. Firefighters arrived to find flames pouring out of the roof.  They called in eight units to help put the fire out.  Flames and smoke poured from the roof for at least half an hour, and firefighters dealt with storms and rain through much of the effort.

Many neighbors came out to watch the sad sight and comfort the family.

"You don't wish this on anybody," said Ann Tilly, who lives nearby.  "This is really sad."

A woman and her two daughters were inside the home, and said they heard a loud popping noise. They quickly got out of the house and called 911.
Just before firefighters entered the home, there was an explosion.

"It actually knocked them off into the front yard," said Capt. Frank McKenzie of Huntsville Fire & Rescue.

No one was hurt, fortunately.  But the fire quickly grew in size, making it harder to fight.

"It got very dangerous -- it was too dangerous to be in that part of the house to try to extinguish it," said Huntsville Fire Chief Mac McFarlen.

Firefighters were able to get a vehicle out of the garage to save it from burning.  "The keys were in the Jeep -- we just backed it up, picked the hose up and backed the Jeep out," said Chief McFarlen.

This ARMOR RADAR image shows lightning strike in area of home now on fire

This ARMOR RADAR image shows lightning strike in area of home now on fire

WHNT News 19 Meteorologist Jake Reed looked in the lightning archive of ARMOR RADAR for the time firefighters received the call. It appears as though the radar confirms the theory of lightning in the area.

Neighbors offered comfort to the family, who lost nearly everything else.

"This is someone's home and there are personal things in there that every family has got that you may never be able to replace," said Ann Tilly.

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