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Brier Creek house fire sparked by lightning

Posted July 6, 2008
Updated July 7, 2008

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— A three-alarm fire, caused by a lightning strike, damaged six houses in the Brier Creek area early Sunday, Raleigh fire investigators said.

The fire started in a two-story house at 11711 Dellcain Court, off Arnold Palmer Drive, around 2:15 a.m., said Battalion Chief Peter Brock, with the Raleigh Fire Department.

Flames were shooting out of the home's second floor and attic when firefighters arrived, and a viewer said the blaze created a glow in the sky.

Sixty firefighters from Raleigh, Morrisville, Durham and Bethesda brought in 15 pieces of equipment to fight the fire. It took an hour-and-a-half to bring it under control.

The heat from the fire caused siding to melt on houses next door to 11711 Dellcain Court, Brock said.

No one was injured, but the home that caught fire was a complete loss. The owners were on vacation and learned of the blaze early Sunday morning from a neighbor.

"He just said, 'I don't have any other way to tell you, but we think your house got struck by lightning and it has burned to the ground,'" neighbor Melissa Kitts recalled.

"I can't image losing your house. Having a happy Fourth of July weekend and coming home and you have nothing left," neighbor Linda Horton said.

One of the homes beside 11711 Dellcain Court was unoccupied and for sale.

Lightning also struck a home two doors down but didn't spark a fire, investigators said.

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  • Schadenfreude Jul 7, 2008

    Those were some viscous storms.

  • bs101fly Jul 7, 2008

    maybe we should all be told so that we can understand just how you might know your house in smoldering for 7-8 hours.
    So if we are home we MIGHT can know what to look for.
    Instead of the "I opened up the door and heard the roar and saw the tornado and ran for cover babble" the media always seems to locate for its interviews!

  • fletchermse Jul 7, 2008

    Time to bring back lightning rods.

  • Slip Kid Jul 7, 2008

    That makes sense, Capt.

  • CaptainSpleen Jul 7, 2008

    "I've noticed a lot of 'newer' homes seem to get struck by lightning around here. It occurred to me that with all plastic plumbing, are new houses grounded as well as metal piped houses and does this affect its chances of being struck by lightning? hmmmm? Anybody else have thoughts on this one?"

    I would think that it has less to do with metal pipes, and more to do with the fact that the land for new developments is completely bulldozed, leaving no tall trees. Then the houses that are built are the tallest things around, and the most likely thing to get hit.

  • carolinagirl75 Jul 7, 2008

    My thoughts and prayers go out to the family. My family lost our house to a fire last year. I know how it feels to come home (it was from work for us)and see your house and all of your personal belongings gone. May they find peace and comfort in this terrible time.

  • Adelinthe Jul 7, 2008

    The houses out there are so close together. I can't imagine living that close to my neighbor, but I'm praying for them because to lose everything hurts - but then everything is brand new again.

    Was running by a huge tree to get to my car in a sudden storm several years ago. It was hit by lightning just as I passed within 10' of it. Took me several hours to stop itching cause I guess it sent my nervous system into overdrive.

    God bless.

    Rev. RB

  • Stormy13 Jul 7, 2008

    Serveral years ago when I lived in a duplex located in W. Raleigh, I was hit by lightening. It struck a tall tree, arched over to the gutter down-spout and came in by way of the switch plate at my back door. By doing so, the switch plate was blown out all the way into my living room area in several pieces. There wasn't a fire but the lightening "surged" throughout my home by way of the electic lines. I lost two tv's, cordless phone system with answering machine, DVD/VHS player and a microwave. Thank goodness for Renters Insurance!! I have replacement value insurance so I got everything new. EVERYONE should have insurance, whether you rent or own, cause you never, never know when this could happen to you.

  • Slip Kid Jul 7, 2008

    I've noticed a lot of 'newer' homes seem to get struck by lightning around here. It occurred to me that with all plastic plumbing, are new houses grounded as well as metal piped houses and does this affect its chances of being struck by lightning? hmmmm? Anybody else have thoughts on this one?