Lightning to blame for Benton house fire

Lightning to blame for Benton house fire

BENTON, LA (KSLA) - The storms that rolled through this morning made quite the scare for a Bossier Parish family as they witnessed their home get struck by lightning.

After the homeowner heard what she described as a loud crack and a pop, she ran outside to see what part of her house had been struck by lightning. She said she didn't see any smoke or fire or damage, but she wanted to play it safe so she went to check out their bonus room and that's when things took a turn.

"When I opened the door to the bonus room, smoke poured out at me," said Sharon Allgaard.

Allgaard and her daughter were just starting their day, and although they were aware of the storms outside, they didn't think anything of it until lightning hit their house.

"It didn't shake the house, but you could definitely tell it hit the house. It was just a very, very loud crash, and a popping sound like it had popped the electricity at that point," said Allgaard.

Shortly after is when she encountered the smoke filling an upstairs room.

Luckily, Allgaard was able to get everyone out of the house, and called the fire department. Although the area of the house that was damaged is small, the lightning totaled her AC system and most of the electric in her home causing her to cut off the power.

"Minimum of about $30,000 is what the fireman estimated at this point," she said.

Allgaard says they will play it safe, and keep their power off until all repairs are made to the AC and the electric in their home.

Lightning strikes to homes are common in Louisiana.

State Farm Insurance says Louisiana ranks fourth in the country for most lightning claims with 1,307 claims filed in 2014.

Texas ranks third with 1,327.

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