Lightning bolt begins blaze in Long Reach; House's roof, attic, 2nd story badly damaged


A Columbia family has been forced from its home by a fire started by lightning Sunday.

Howard County firefighters responded to the call from the 8100 block of Sealight Lane in Long Reach village about 6:20 p.m., where the roof and attic of the two-story house belonging to the Sachs family was on fire.

Firefighters battled the blaze for nearly a half-hour before bringing it under control. The fire was extinguished at 7:20 p.m.

Three people were home when the lightning struck, but no one was injured, said Capt. Chris Shimer, a Fire Department spokesman.

The fire caused an estimated $200,000 in damage, mainly to the roof, attic and second story. Nine units and 30 firefighters responded to the call.

While lightning strikes to buildings are fairly common, Shimer said it is unusual for a strike to cause such extensive damage.

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