Ken Kalp was headed for the kitchen to get a cup of coffee when lightning punched a hole in his roof and set his attic on fire.
Mr. Kalp, 55, who lives in the 5300 block of Wertz Road, near Millers, said he heard thunder from one of a series of storms that rolled through Carroll County yesterday afternoon and early evening. Then he heard a terrific crash upstairs. The lights went out.
He went to the fuse box, saw smoke and knew this was more than the average power outage. The phone was dead, too, he discovered.
Realizing his older, two-story house had been hit by lightning, Mr. Kalp said that he ran a quarter of a mile to a neighbor's house to phone for help.
Fire equipment responded at 5:22 p.m. from Lineboro, Manchester and Hampstead in Carroll County, and from New Freedom and Glen Rock in Pennsylvania. More than two dozen units responded.
Fire officials said the flames were confined to the attic of the house, secluded from its neighbors along a 300-yard driveway.
The fire was under control in about 15 minutes, they said.
"It was scary, but we only got a little singed," said Mr. Kalp, who was alone in the house when the lightning hit.
His attic was scorched and his roof had a hole roughly 10 feet by 10 feet.