Illinois Family Escapes Lightning Fire


Lightning struck the roof of a two-story house and caused a fire early Monday that left the northwest suburban home uninhabitable.

At 12:30 a.m. during a severe storm, lightning struck the roof of a wooden home at 414 Elderberry Lane in Streamwood, according to Streamwood Police Sgt. Michael Zeigler.

The Nirdish Patel family was awakened by the sound of lightning, smelled smoke and evacuated the home safely, according to Streamwood Fire Department Deputy Chief Mark Hudson.

"There was a fire in the attic area, pretty intense, when the first crews arrived," Hudson said.

The fire was contained to the roof and attic area where the lightning struck, but there was "extensive smoke and water damage to the second floor," said Hudson, leaving the home uninhabitable. The family is staying temporarily with relatives, he said.

Firefighters contained the fire to the attic by pulling the ceilings on the second floor to expose the flames, he said, but there were several "burn-throughs" in the roof.

Damage was estimated at $75,000 to the structure and $15,000 to contents, Hudson said. No one was reported injured.

Firefighters extinguished the blaze in about 30 minutes, Zeigler said, but crews remained on the scene until about 3 .m. Firefighters from Bartlett, Hanover Park, Hoffman Estates and South Elgin assisted on the scene, according to Hudson.

Copyright 2007, Sun-Times News Group