Lakeville, Minn. man thanks firefighters for rapid response after lightning hits home

A Lakeville, Minnesota father is grateful firefighters were able to make a quick response Tuesday after his home was struck by lightning while children were playing inside.

Despite the potentially life-threatening situation, everyone made it out unharmed and homeowner Trevor Radner is expressing his gratitude on Wednesday.

"From the outside, you wouldn’t notice," Radner said.

Beyond the hole, now patched on the roof, and insulation scattered in the yard, you can hardly tell this home was on fire Tuesday morning.

"Smells like a pretty bad bonfire," Radner said.

Inside, Radner showed us where much of his upstairs ceiling is ripped out so Lakeville firefighters could get to the fire in the attic.

"It’s scary," he said. "I’m just thankful it happened at a time of the day we had neighbors who were home. To notice this. If this had happened in the middle of night, you just don’t know what the outcome would have been like."

Radner said the lightning struck around 11 a.m. Tuesday. Radner’s 6-year-old daughter was in the basement with a couple of friends and a nanny when the lightning hit. They saw a large red flash, but did not realize smoke was coming from the roof until a contractor coming out of a neighbor's house alerted them.

Lakeville firefighters had just finished a training exercise of a controlled burn and were able to get to the home within three minutes, before the smoke detectors even started going off.

"Typically, like in a residential, it’s going to enter and it’s going to travel that least path of resistance, which typically can be anything metal like your electrical," said Lakeville Fire Chief Mike Meyer.

Lakeville firefighters feel like they've had their fair share of lightning strikes causing house fires: Four on one day back in June and now two more in the summer since. "We structurally still have a lot of the integrity of the house it can be rebuilt," Radner said. "It’s not a total loss. That's what I’m thankful for. Those guys are amazing."

While he’s thankful this wasn’t worse, there is some frustration for the homeowner who just had a new roof put on in two weeks ago after hail damage from that same storm back in June.