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Family Tries To Recover After Lightning Strike and Fire At Home

SCHUYLKILL HAVEN — A family is trying to recover after a lightning strike and fire in Schuylkill Haven.

The home on St. Peter Street was struck and caught fire late Wednesday afternoon.

Thursday, crews were inside, moving belongings and assessing damage.

Debra Perkins, who lives in the home with her husband and daughter, said she will never forget the sounds of the strike.

It sparked a fire leaving the family’s home, built in 1899, smoky, soggy and damaged.

“The fire kept reigniting, so to put it out, they had to put a lot of water on it, because it just kept starting again,” she said.

George Haller lives across the street from the Perkins home and said he saw lightning hit the home.

“It come down, the lightning bolt came right down and hit the house and the next thing I see it’s in flames shooting from the front, shooting from the windows,” said Haller.

Debra Perkins has been a piano teacher for 35 years.

She has 50 students she taught from home.

After the fire, she had two keyboards taken from the home and stored elsewhere and two pianos.

“My one piano is a Steinway and it was a Steinway from 1917 so it’s kind of a coveted instrument that had been rebuilt and so my main concern was that,” she said.

Perkins credited firefighters with covering her pianos and other belongings, helping to keep things relatively dry.

“That was one of our priorities once we got lines on the fire was to get in there and salvage some of the property and get it covered up for them,” said Perkins.

Debra Perkins’ husband is a family therapist also ran his business from the house.

Until it is repaired, which could be six months or longer, they have to live and work somewhere else.

Right now, they plan to work from their local church.

“We’ll be able to pick up and work again! We’re going to work Monday,” said Perkins.



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