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Family says lightning caused fire at St. Johns County home

House fire during lightning storm
House fire during lightning storm

ST. JOHNS COUNTY, Fla. – As many people across Northeast Florida were hit by torrential downpours Tuesday afternoon, a couple in St. Johns County said they believe lightning is to blame for a fire at their home.

Firefighters could not confirm the cause of the fire. The family made it out safely with their two dogs.

Much of the damage that was done to the home isn’t visible from the outside. There’s a hole on top of the family’s roof where firefighters cut their way inside.

John Bruner said he and his wife saw smoke.

“We were watching TV and the lightning hit on the roof,” Bruner said. “My wife was yelling that the house was on fire! The house is on fire!”

The inside of the family’s home is covered with insulation. There is a large hole in the living room ceiling, but their antiques and family photos were untouched.

Many areas saw heavy flooding during the storms, especially the Mandarin neighborhood. Here’s what it looked like on Loretto Road:

More video shows the flooding on Flynn Road:

Bruner says his home can be repaired but that there will be some setbacks.

“I was supposed to be playing tennis in the morning, so just let the guys know that I probably won’t be there,” he said.

Bruner and his wife will be staying with family members Tuesday night. Fortunately, they have insurance.

About the Author:

Reports weeknights for The Ten O'Clock News and News4Jax at 11.