Lightning strike destroys Cherokee County home - WNEM TV 5

Lightning strike destroys Cherokee County home

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Courtesy: Tim Cavender, PIO, Cherokee County Fire and Emergency Services Courtesy: Tim Cavender, PIO, Cherokee County Fire and Emergency Services
CHEROKEE COUNTY, GA (CBS46) -

A retired metro-Atlanta police officer and his wife must find a new place to live after fire, caused by lighting, destroyed their home.

It happened in Cherokee County in Waleska on Land Road Wednesday afternoon.

"The sun was out; it wasn't raining," said Warren Butler, a neighbor. Butler said the lightning seemed to strike out of nowhere.

At first, Butler thought his home had been hit. When he realized the smoke was coming from his neighbor's, he called 911 and tried to get inside, not knowing if the couple was trapped.

"While I was standing there beating on the door, I heard a small, muffled explosion and saw flames shoot inside the house," said Butler.

Cherokee County firefighters arrived quickly, but they couldn't save the home.

The homeowners, who were on a shopping trip, arrived home an hour later to find their house gone and their pets dead, two cats and a dog.

Investigators suspected the lighting actually struck a tree, about 50 feet from the home, and then traveled underground through a gas line into the house. They said they wouldn't know for sure until they dug the line up.

No injuries were reported.

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