Lightning strike blamed for Metairie house fire

Lightning strike blamed for Metairie house fire

METAIRIE, LA (WVUE) - Firefighters worked to put out hotspots after a Metairie homeowner says lightning started a fire at his house.

Firefighters wrapped up the scene early Monday morning in the 4800 block of Taft Park.

The homeowner said the fire was caused by lightning.

Neighbors said it struck last night and they described just how loud it was.

"When the storms were rolling through and the lightning became very loud, we heard one very loud pop," said Windy Boudreaux. "It was loud enough to set car alarms off four blocks down."

"Everyone in the neighborhood heard that lightning strike go off and it was close, it sounded like a cannon went off outside and so I walked around the outside and went into my attic area, I have a small attic where the air conditions are and I saw nothing," Ray Prince, the homeowner said.

Prince thought everything was okay until he heard his neighbor banging on his door early Monday morning.

"It was just adrenaline, I saw the flames coming out the roof and I went downstairs and went on to their house and beat on their door to make sure they got out," Ricky Rowell, Prince's neighbor who saw the flames and went to rescue Prince and his family, said. "That's my neighbor, any neighbor would do the same thing."

The fire department confirmed the fire started in the attic, but because of the time between the lightning strike and the first call, they could not confirm the fire was caused by the lightning, though they would not rule it out.

"It's a possibility, fire can smolder for a long period of time and then once it gets oxygen it can accelerate from there, but with it being such a long period of time it's hard to determine that that was the cause of the fire," Joe Greco, the Director of Jefferson Parish Fire, said.

One firefighter was transported to the hospital after suffering heat exhaustion, but he is expected to be okay.

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