Lightning sparks house fire as wild weather hits New Jersey

Monday, July 24, 2017 07:25PM
Meteorologist Jeff Smith reports on the lightning strike in Lakewood.


LAKEWOOD, New Jersey - It was a morning of wild weather across the area, with heavy rain, gusty wind and thunderstorms. Central and southern New Jersey were especially hard hit, including a transformer fire in New Brunswick that closed roads for hours and a lightning strike in Lakewood the blew a hole in a family's roof.

Neighbors heard the deafening boom.

"It was like a flash of white light in front of me," neighbor Adina Rubin said. "It was really loud."

The owner of the home was startled awake not by the thunder, but by an alarm and the slight smell of smoke.

"I went out, I didn't really see anything," Yisroel Minzer said. "I saw there were a lot of brush fires around, I thought maybe it was because of that, maybe it's an oven. I was so in a daze. I was sleeping, so I just dozed the alarm and I just went back to sleep."

But all was not well, and it slowly turned into an attic fire by 9 a.m.

"My wife calls at 8:30, 9 a.m. and says the house is on fire," Minzer said. "The beams have to be done again. It might be a month or two of work."

The fire department was able to put out the fire quickly, but some damage had already been done.

"The firemen come, open the roof," neighbor Aron Ralbag said. "Smoke pouring out of the roof."

The lightning strike also blew out the home's electrical system, but still, everyone is thankful it wasn't much worse.

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