Lightning strikes home, starts blaze

SCHENECTADY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – A fire broke out at a Schenectady home after it was struck by lightning on Wednesday.

“It was scary, absolutely scary. Shook our house,” Schenectady resident Joe Hendrick said as he described the lightning strike that caused a fire at 1052 Eastern Ave.

Hendrick lives across from the house. Firefighters were on the scene within minutes and quickly knocked down the blaze.

Fortunately, the fire chief says no one was home and all the pets, including Milo the hedgehog, made it out okay.

“Nobody can predict a lightning strike, so as with any fire. If you have a fire of any type in your house, immediately leave the home,” Schenectady Fire Chief Raymond Senecal said. “Do not go back inside for your pets, your electronic devices or anything else.”

Most of the damage was contained to the attic. But it was a challenging afternoon for firefighters.

“At the same time we received several calls for wires down, multiple calls, multiple fire calls,” Senecal said. “So resources were stretched today.”

The storm caused damage around the city.

On Adams Road, the whole top of a tree came down onto some power lines and brought the pole down with it.

Andy Chestnut showed NEWS10 the backyard of his Wendell Avenue home where two massive trees fell and just barely missed his home.

“I was imagining that whole wall of windows coming in on us,” he said. “So it was just really wonderful that that didn’t happen. We’re very blessed about that.”

“Nobody can predict a lightning strike, so as with any fire. If you have a fire of any type in your house, immediately leave the home,” Senecal said. “Do not go back inside for your pets, your electronic devices or anything else.”

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