Multiple fires sparked by lightning strikes during week of severe weather

9 July 2022

— Lightning is a fascinating force of nature. Known to be dangerous.

Lightning strikes sparked fires at several homes and businesses throughout central North Carolina this week.

One of those strikes hit a home in Wake Forest, sparking a fire in the attic with Anthony Aiad inside.

“The light was very bright,” said Aiad. “[I was] definitely panicking. Tried to get my phone to call 911. Make sure my mom was safe.”

The natural phenomenon left a destructive mark on other locations too.

Earlier this week lightning hit a local business in Rolesville, caused extensive damage to a senior center in Wake Forest and even hit another home in Knightdale.

Experts told WRAL News being indoors offered the best protection during a lightning storm, but it’s still possible to become a lightning strike victim.

John Jensenius with the National Lighting Safety Council said it’s important to follow safety tips inside shelter.

“Anything that plugs into the wall becomes dangerous and you don’t want to be washing your hands or taking a shower. You don’t want to be on corded phones,” said Jensenius. “We also recommend staying away from doors and windows just because if lightning strikes your house for example it could fall on the doorknob from outside to inside.”

Lightning strikes spark fires at Wake Forest senior center, Knightdale home

Aiad said Friday’s storms have made him a little bit more weather-aware.

“You never know when lightning could strike,” said Aiad.

Jensenius said you’ll want to wait 30 minutes after a storm passes to go back outside.

Experts say 90% of people survive lightning strikes.

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