Lightning leads to fire at home, senior center in Wake County

7 July 2022

Lightning strikes from storms on Wednesday led to at least two fires in Wake County.

A homeowner in Knightdale said his house caught fire after being hit by lightning around 7:30 p.m. Authorities said two people were left homeless as a result of the fire.

In Wake Forest, lightning sparked a fire at the Northern Wake Senior Center in the 200 block of East Holding Avenue. No one was inside the center when the fire started, a spokesman for Wake Forest said.

Several rooms and ceilings at the center were damaged by smoke and fire. But, fire officials credited the center’s sprinkler suppression system for limiting the spread of the fire.

The center would be closed for the foreseeable future because of the fire, the spokesman said.

The slow-moving cells also dumped torrential rain — flooding roads and blinding drivers, including on Interstate 540. Lightning and wind also took aim at central North Carolina.

Wind gusts whipped branches and flags through the air, and in some cases, brought down entire trees. Two homes on Ranshire Way in Raleigh were left with a major mess when a tree fell on top of them. No one inside the homes were hurt.

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