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Lightning Causes Fire at Austin Home's Garage

Posted at: 06/12/2013 7:16 PM
By: Dan Conradt

(ABC 6 NEWS) -- A local family is taking stock of its loss, and thankful that no one was hurt, following an early morning fire.

"We were asleep at about four o'clock this (Wednesday) morning and heard this tremendous bang," homeowner Blake McCullough told us.

It was early Wednesday morning, and the Austin area was being battered by a thunderstorm.

"We thought it sounded awfully close so we went and checked the house,"  Blake McCullough told us. He was at his home on the edge of Austin at the time.  "I first thought I'd see what was in the backyard or something, and then we saw smoke and our alarm went off and we thought we'd better call 9-1-1."

“And upon arrival basically they noticed that the garage was engulfed,"  said Mower County Sheriff’s Department Chief Deputy Mark May.

“We had mainly stuff we stored in there. none of our cars were in there," owner Blake McCullough explained.

By that time, McCullough and his family had gotten out of the house.

"We're guessing lightning hit it, and then when the smoke alarm went off we figured that's not good," McCullough recalled.

And while there's not much you can do to prevent a lightning strike, a smoke alarm is a good way to protect your family if it does.

"They start chirping and you pop the battery out thinking I'll replace it later, and the chirping is annoying, but in this case that simple piece of equipment could have very well saved their lives," said chief deputy Mark May.