MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - Lighting lit up the sky early Thursday morning as severe storms rumbled through the Midsouth. That same lighting also sparked at least two fires.
Awakened by thunderstorms, Shay Pena knew she had to react quickly.
"The house was on fire," she said. "Literally, the house was on fire and we had to get out."
Later Thursday morning, and still in disbelief, Pena assessed the damage done to her home after lightning zapped her upstairs game room.
"Apparently it struck the bricks and just caught the wood - the corners on fire," she said.
As smoke and flames poured out of the roof, lightning also hit a house on Bena Cove, just a few blocks away. Luckily, no one was home.
Pena spent the day trying to salvage most of her personal items.
"There's soot and dirt all through the house, all through the living room, so I'm trying to get that up," she said.
Despite the huge mess, Pena said she was thankful she, along with her husband and three dogs, were able to escape unharmed. After the flames erupted, they ran to a neighbor's house until firefighters arrived.
"I'm not as distraught as people would expect me to be. It's just the house was on fire. You're not trained for these things. The most important thing was getting my family out of the home," she said.
It was a frightening ordeal that Pena says she is ready to put behind her.
"We'll pick up the pieces, clean up, and move on," she said.
Pena said she and her husband will move forward with repairs once they hear from insurance adjusters.