Lightning sparks several house fires in Hamilton County

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HAMILTON COUNTY, IND. — Severe weather wreaked havoc across Central Indiana Sunday. Several tree toppled on homes up north. Firefighters in Hamilton County rushed to put out several house fires struck by lightning.

A family of four in the 16100 block of Etna Green Drive in Westfield ran out of the house after seeing smoke coming from one of the vents upstairs. Their son, who was playing video games at the time, felt a shock.

Firefighters say flames were shooting out of the roof and spread to two surrounding homes when they arrived on scene. Fire departments from Carmel, Noblesville and Sheridan assisted on scene. Damages are estimated at $250,000.

“The entire attic was on fire. We had two roof collapses at the same time at this house just minutes after we got here,” said John Barrett, a Westfield Fire Department spokesperson. “The child playing the Xbox felt a little bit of a shock. He’s doing okay.”

Neighbors heard a loud crack of thunder shortly before the fire.

“I don’t think we expected anything like this,” said Joe Canada, who lives nearby. “We heard just one big loud boom.”

Minutes later, Maria Horne in Fishers heard firefighters knocking on her door.

“I did hear a huge boom,” Horne said. “I could feel the heat from the blaze just coming my way.”

Neighbors captured video of the vacant home next door up in flames. The heat melted one side of Maria’s house.

“I was yelling, ‘Hurry up and get the hose for my house!'” she said. “The lightning was just dancing all around but it didn’t seem like it was that bad until that big boom.”

Firefighters responded to seven lightning strikes in Westfield. Nobody was hurt.