Pittsboro, N.C. — Afternoon and evening thunderstorms have dumped heavy rain across central North Carolina in the last week, but many of the storms in the last two days have also included dangerous cloud-to-ground lightning.
On Saturday evening as storms rolled through Chatham County, lightning sparked a fire that caused heavy damage to a home at 559 Jamestown Road in Pittsboro.
“We were sitting on the screen porch and it was a light and a crack simultaneously,” homeowner Pam Mills said of the lightning that struck the top of her home Saturday evening. “I looked up and saw smoke coming out.”
Mills and Enecee Francis, her 6-year-old granddaughter, rushed to a neighbor’s house to call for help, but by the time firefighters arrived much of the attic and second floor of the home was engulfed by flames.
“It was scary,” Francis said.
Firefighters were able to remove some of the family’s cherished photos and cover antiques to protect them from water damage, but the home is likely a total loss.
“I’m forever grateful to them,” Mill said.
Despite the damage, Mills said Sunday that she will rebuild the home where her family spends its quality time together.
“It’s my home. It’s my children’s home,” she said. “It’s where we have Christmas and Thanksgiving.”
Authorities in Wake County said Saturday that lightning may have also been responsible for a fire at a home at 1801 Wills Ave. in the Five Points area of Raleigh.