Hillsborough County

‘It was crazy’: Lightning strike sparks fire at NH home amid tornado warnings

MANCHESTER, N.H. — Dana Hawkes was standing in his driveway in Manchester when he saw his neighbor’s house struck by lightning Sunday.

“It was crazy, it scared the heck out of me,” said Dana Hawkes. “I was coming out actually to see where the storm was, and then I heard this crackling sound and I looked above and there were like 5 bolts all intertwined, just BOOM like a big explosion and splinters everywhere.”

He says he called his neighbor and 911 right away as the house caught fire.

“I called my neighbor, and he thought I was joking with him, I said ‘Your house got struck by lightning it’s on fire,’” said Hawkes.

There was also a tornado warning for this area.

Luckily a tornado never touched down, but firefighters were already on high alert when they got this call.

“We were all standing up in the apparatus bay you know anticipating, preplanning what we’re going to do, so they were ready to go and jumped in the trucks pretty quickly,” said Battalion Chief Kenneth Proulx, with the Manchester Fire Department.

Proulx says they were able to keep the fire contained to the attic, and he does believe it was caused by lightning.

“We have multiple small fires in different areas of the attic, that’s indicative of the travel of the electricity, so I would say yeah there are some signs like that,” said Battalion Chief Proulx.

“The fire and the smoke’s coming out of our attic, thank God the firemen got here quickly,” said Donna Provencher, who lives in the home that was struck.

Provencher says luckily, she and her fiancé weren’t home at the time of this lightning strike, and everything that’s damaged can be replaced.

“All I care about is no one’s hurt,” said Provencher.

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