A Bel Air home was extensively damaged by fire after it was hit by lightning Sunday evening, fire officials said.
The fire started shortly before 8:30 p.m. in the attic of the split-level home at the intersection of Webster and Hemingway drives in central Bel Air, spokesman Rich Gardiner of the Harford County Volunteer Fire and EMS Association said.
No one was home at the time of the fire and no injuries were reported, Gardiner said.
"It is believed to be a lightning strike from the recent storms," Gardiner said.
A brief spell of thunderstorms passed through the region late Sunday afternoon and evening.
The home suffered "substantial damage" and is uninhabitable, Gardiner said.
He did not know how many people live in the home or what will happen to them.
About 40 firefighters from Bel Air and Fallston fire companies responded to the one-alarm fire, which was contained in 10 minutes.
As of late Tuesday afternoon, the Office of the State Fire Marshal had not released a standard notice of investigation regarding the fire.
During Monday's Bel Air town meeting, Mayor Eddie Hopkins commented on the weekend fire and the need for people to be aware during violent weather occurrences, such as Sunday's thunderstorms and the recent derecho storm, the latter which left people throughout the region without electricity for days,
Hopkins, who is also the Bel Air Volunteer Fire Company chief, asked the public to "pay attention" and "be prepared" for any similar occurrences in the future.
"Learn lessons from [the extended power outages] and bring those lessons home," Hopkins said.
He added that the home on Hemingway Drive had working smoke detectors, but when Mother Nature is involved, there's not much anyone can do to prevent such a disaster, only recover from it in the best way possible.
Stephen Kline, deputy director for public works, said the department had made several thus far unsuccessful attempts to contact the homeowner to "offer our assistance in any way possible."
According to state property tax records, the property is owned by John Majeski. The home was built in 1972.
This updated article contains corrected information regarding the owner of the home where the fire occurred. A previous version incorrectly gave the owner of the home next door.