Nashville, N.C. — Firefighters continued to spray water on hot spots Monday after a Sunday night fire destroyed a Nash County home.
Flames engulfed the house at 726 S. Old Carriage Road in Nashville, near Nash Central High School, at about 9:30 p.m.
Frantic neighbors feared Larry and Deborah Smiley were inside, but Larry Smiley said Monday that they had gone to a friend's house after church and luckily weren't home when the fire broke out.
"Ninety percent of the time, they would be at home and in bed at that time," neighbor Kathy Ingram said. "I was afraid the smoke inhalation had gotten them."
"There's no telling what could have happened if we had been home," Larry Smiley said.
Smiley said he suspects lightning hit the house during Sunday night's storms. Officials with the Nashville Fire Department said they haven't yet determined the cause of the fire but are looking at a lightning strike as a possibility.
The Smileys haven't been able to salvage anything from the home, but they said their dog escaped the fire unharmed.
The couple said they will stay with relatives while they rebuild.