Lightning strike causes Peabody house fire
PEABODY, Mass. (WHDH) -- A sudden lightning strike left a West Peabody home in ruins on Wednesday afternoon when a viscous, fast moving storm moved through.
“I was in my house. I heard a bang,” said Roberta Belson, whose house was hit by lightning. “The smoke alarm went off. The next thing I know there’s smoke coming up. I tried to shut off the alarm. I was fanning it foolishly with a towel. The next thing I know I opened up the downstairs door and there was black smoke coming up.”
Belson said her neighbors were there in seconds screaming for her to get out of the house -- one of them was an off-duty Chelsea firefighter.
“I [saw] the smoke and ran to the rear of the house and she said everyone was out of the house so I just grabbed the garden hose. And the window was about to break anyways so I just smashed the window and just started hitting the fire with the garden hose,” said Francis Grafton.
By that time Peabody firefighters were on the scene and fire was coming from the chimney, the eves and the back of the home.
Firefighters say Belson was really lucky.
“Considering everything that was going on [on Wednesday], at that point actually, with all the lightning strikes and you know, we were getting multiple calls from different places because of the lighting strikes. We were kind of stretched thin there for awhile,” said Capt. Ted Quinn of the Peabody Fire Department.
Even some of the fire department’s equipment took a hit from the weather that passed through quickly. But for Belson, fighting tears, she says the fact that everyone was safe is all that mattered to her
“Thank God everyone’s okay. It’s stuff. A lot of stuff, a lot of memories, but we’ll be fine,” said Belson.
The Belson’s will stay with family due to all of the smoke inside their home.