Garage, shed burst into flames after lightning strikes nearby tree in New Jersey

CALDWELL, New Jersey (WABC) -- The storm came fast - bringing rain and lightning.

"I heard a crack, saw a red flash - we saw the tree split," said Jason Oesterly.

The loud boom was enough to shake the house, and a bolt split the large tree in Oesterly's backyard in half.

"We saw a small fire start at the base of the shed. I was going to put some water on it - by the time I got out, my daughter said, 'Dad, it's too big,'" Oesterly said.

The fire, at times, was ten feet high.

Oesterly says he called 911.

"West Caldwell, Caldwell fire departments were terrific," he added.
As the family moved to a safe spot in front of the house, the fire ravaged their shed, and the neighbor's garage.

Once the fire was out, they heard squeaking sounds of three baby squirrels who were hurt during the lightning strike.

"My daughter is now nursing them, trying to keep them warm for the night, and try to find a place we can take them, hopefully get some aide, but so far no luck tonight," Oesterly says.

They were all victims of Mother Nature's fury, but all safe, along with everyone else.

While the garage and the shed are completely destroyed, thankfully there was no other damage to the surrounding homes.

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