(WMC-TV) – Lightning destroyed a Mid-South home, while the family managed to escape with their lives. They lost everything else in the aftermath of a severe storm Thursday night.
The massive fire happened in an upscale Eads neighborhood. The homeowners and neighbors stood by and watched helplessly as flames engulfed the home.
Barb Monroe and her husband from Illinois are visiting their son and his family. They had just left the house 15 minutes before a bolt of lightning hit.
"The bolt of lightning was significant," Monroe said. "They said just consider yourself blessed because you would not have made it out of that house."
One witness who did not want to talk on camera said a huge bolt of lightning came down and hit the garage. The house went up in flames. People tried to save the four cats and two dogs inside but the smoke was too much."
The homeowner watched as his home burned. The four cats belonged to his daughter. She could only stand and watch as the house burned to the ground.
"Fortunately there were enough neighbors who were able to get 911 started quickly enough," Brent Perkins with the Shelby County Fire Department said.
Firefighters worked for a couple of hours fighting the fire. Investigators say the fire traveled through the attic, making it hard to put out. At one point the entire front of the house was red with fire. The flames grew even as rain started coming down hard. Investigators say the house is a total loss.
Firefighters from Shelby County and Arlington fought the blaze. Six engine companies in all were at the scene.