Lightning Strikes Wentzville Home, Sparks Fire

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WENTZVILLE, MISSOURI ( KTVI ) A lightning strike is being blamed for a destructive house fire in Wentzville Saturday night.  Neighbors along Providence Ridge Drive describe hearing a loud, explosive sound just minutes before the roof of a home erupted in flames.

The fire spread so quickly across the roof that Cindy and Rodger Williams barely had time to escape...having to leave two of their three pets behind.

Neighbor Sandy Bajardi jumped from her bed at the noise.  The power surge blew out her television.  "I can't explain it how loud and horrific and how fast it occurred and how fast the home was in flames," she said as neighbors gathered Sunday to help the couple.

There was not much to salvage.  The entire roof of the frame one story home collapsed in the fire.  What was not damaged by fire or smoke was soaked with water from the fire hoses and the heavy rain that came with the lightning.

Neighbors called 911 at 11:04pm.  Wentzville Battalion Chief Mike Scott said firemen were on the scene  by 11:12 pm.  A second alarm was called for additional manpower.

Scott said the first crew on the scene found the roof heavily involved with fire.  " They went into a defensive attack to kind of protect the houses on both  sides, but also to try to knock the fire down as quickly as possible with the large diameter hose," Scott explained.

Cindy Williams was thankful her granddaughter was not staying with them Saturday night because the lightning strike was near her bedroom.  By Sunday afternoon they were telling neighbors both missing pets had survived the fire hiding in the home.

Bajardi, whose home next door was saved by firefighters, beamed as neighbors drove up to offer help.  "They are trying to help out  offering food , donations of any kind, boxes anything we can do we're here for them because this neighborhood is a family."