Family Displaced After Lightning Strike Sparks Fire

WHITE DEER TOWNSHIP — A couple from Union County say they heard a big boom and then saw flames. It turns out their house was hit by lighting and that sparked a fire.

Charred clothes have melted together. They sit on the side of Jerry Sills’ house on New Columbia road in the village of New Columbia.

His home and most things inside were destroyed by fire after officials say lightning struck the home during a storm Tuesday.

“Oh, it was raining hard.”

In the morning, Sills came back to his home to salvage anything he could. He says he and his wife were inside when they heard a crash.

“I seen a flash. I heard the boom and probably 30 seconds later I stood up and I could feel the heat on top of my head,” Sills recalled.

When they got out of the house, Sills noticed an air conditioner in a window was on fire. He grabbed a garden hose to try to put it out, but flames were so intense, he was unable.

“It’s bad. I hit just about every doggone room. There is stuff if it wasn’t water damaged, it’s melted.”

“Devastation, it’s devastated. It’s gutted,” said neighbor Chris Walker.

Walker lives down the road and is friends with the Sills. He says he’s surprised a lighting strike could cause so much damage

“I’m just glad they got out and their cat got out safely.”

“It’s a total surprise,” added Sills. “I never thought I would get hit by lightning where I am here with all these trees around me.”

The Red Cross has offered to help the Sills find a place to stay for a few days.  The couple has insurance.

1 Comment

  • Monique Sills-Hamilton

    http://wnep.com/2014/08/06/family-displaced-after-lightning-strike-sparks-fire/
    My parents are grateful for the continued outpouring of support from the community, especially from Freedom Life AG Church in Milton, whose congregation has overwhelmed my parents with their generosity. Within hours of me contacting Pastor Tony Cruz to let him know what happened, they had already contacted my mom to arrange meals, visited my dad at the house to offer physical assistance in the clean up, and dropped off clothing, toiletries, and even cat and dog supplies. I am blessed to know that I can count on my extended church family to step in when I can’t be there. I live in Utah and am an only child so I really can’t say thank you enough to all of them. I am also grateful to my cousins, especially Mike Weaver of Boalsburg who has done his best to be by my parents’ side during all of this.

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