A lightning strike sends one family's house up in flames, but ne - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

A lightning strike sends one family's house up in flames, but neighbors are pitching in

Posted: Updated:

RICHLAND, WA - It was a bolt of lightning that struck a home in Richland during last night's storm, causing a fire and leaving a family of seven homeless.

Reporter Jaclyn Selesky went back to the home today to check out the damage and what's left of the home, and how the community is rallying to help the family out.

The unusual part about this massive fire is how it started - from one powerful lightning strike. Today, neighbors and community members are showing their support to the family who lost everything in a matter of minutes.

Crews were still on the scene this morning, cleaning up the aftermath of a lightning strike that set the house on fire.

It started off as a normal night...until a bolt of lightning struck their house, causing the power to flicker and setting the smoke alarm off. It wasn't until smoke started billowing through the air vents that they grabbed their pets and got out.

Jennifer Oliver lives nearby, and recalls realizing there was a fire nearby.

"I could smell it before I saw it," she said. "I smelled a little bit of burning and I started to get nervous, and then pretty soon our house was full of smoke too, from the neighborhood fire. And it was scary. I was praying and hoping that our neighbors were okay."

Neighbors have been stopping by all morning, dropping off bags of clothes, water and food, and doing anything they can to help.

Like Oliver, she told Jackie she doesn't know the family personally, but that's not stopping her from helping a neighbor in need.

"I had these new clothes in my car and I'm thinking, ''wow, my neighbor just lost everything she has, why not just give them to her."

There are only a few things the fire didn't destroy: trophies, random pieces of furniture and other items, but most importantly everyone in the family is unharmed and together.

"The community has to do what they can do help each other and everyone needs support in times like these," said Oliver. "I mean, lightning just hit her house, how scary is that?"

Firefighters say last night's rain during the storm helped, but they tell us in this case there were factors that made fighting the fire more difficult; by the time they arrived, the roof had collapsed, spreading the fire through the upper floors of the house. Strong winds were also a problem.

Right now, the family is staying with friends as they work to pick up the pieces left behind.

HD DOPPLER 6i
/
  • Tri-CitiesTri-Cities NewsMore>>

  • Man jumped while on bike path in Richland

    Man jumped while on bike path in Richland

    Sunday, July 15 2018 9:36 PM EDT2018-07-16 01:36:11 GMT
    If you know anything, call (509) 628-0333If you know anything, call (509) 628-0333
    If you know anything, call (509) 628-0333If you know anything, call (509) 628-0333
    RICHLAND- Detectives are investigating after a man was jumped Saturday afternoon on a Richland bike path. The 22-year-old said he was in the area of Bellerive Drive and Steptoe Street around 11 a.m. when it happened. The man sustained several injuries during the assault was taken to Kadlec to be treated.  If you have any information call 50-628-0333.More >>
    RICHLAND- Detectives are investigating after a man was jumped Saturday afternoon on a Richland bike path. The 22-year-old said he was in the area of Bellerive Drive and Steptoe Street around 11 a.m. when it happened. The man sustained several injuries during the assault was taken to Kadlec to be treated.  If you have any information call 50-628-0333.More >>
  • Bikes stolen from shop in Kennewick

    Bikes stolen from shop in Kennewick

    Sunday, July 15 2018 8:13 PM EDT2018-07-16 00:13:36 GMT

    KENNEWICK- Police officers are asking for help in locating locating two expensive mountain bikes that were stolen. On Saturday unknown suspects cut the cable securing the bikes and stole them from a store near W 7th Ave and SR 395.  Each of the bicycles is valued at about $2300. Anyone who has any information about the whereabouts of the bicycles, please call the non-emergency number at 509-628-0333 to remain anonymous contact Tri cities Crime Stoppers at (800) 222-84...

    More >>

    KENNEWICK- Police officers are asking for help in locating locating two expensive mountain bikes that were stolen. On Saturday unknown suspects cut the cable securing the bikes and stole them from a store near W 7th Ave and SR 395.  Each of the bicycles is valued at about $2300. Anyone who has any information about the whereabouts of the bicycles, please call the non-emergency number at 509-628-0333 to remain anonymous contact Tri cities Crime Stoppers at (800) 222-84...

    More >>
  • ''Scoop it Forward'' week begins in Oregon

    ''Scoop it Forward'' week begins in Oregon

    Sunday, July 15 2018 8:08 PM EDT2018-07-16 00:08:15 GMT

    OREGON- Sunday is National Ice Cream Day, which also kicks off a celebration of appreciation called “Scoop It Forward.” Supported by Oregon’s dairy farmers and processors, the week-long campaign, from July 15 to 22, encourages people to show appreciation for one another through random acts of ice cream. Josh Thomas, Senior Director of Communications for the Oregon Dairy and Nutrition Council, said: “Random acts of kindness can be contagious, and our call...

    More >>

    OREGON- Sunday is National Ice Cream Day, which also kicks off a celebration of appreciation called “Scoop It Forward.” Supported by Oregon’s dairy farmers and processors, the week-long campaign, from July 15 to 22, encourages people to show appreciation for one another through random acts of ice cream. Josh Thomas, Senior Director of Communications for the Oregon Dairy and Nutrition Council, said: “Random acts of kindness can be contagious, and our call...

    More >>