Lightning was the apparent cause of a fire in the West Lake community in Martinez Tuesday night.
Columbia County firefighters responded to 3741 Pebble Beach Drive and were able to contain most of the damage to the attic, although the second floor had smoke and water damage.
Barbara Tealebi and her daughter Nadia live next door and were in their backyard at approximately 4:50 p.m.
“We saw the lightning strike and then we saw white smoke heading our way,” said Tealebi, who was initially nervous about the fire getting to her house.
Two houses down on the other side of the two-story structure, the Duncans saw what was happening as well.
“We smelled the smoke so we ran down here and noticed the house was on fire,” said 19-year-old Charlie Duncan. “My mom (Jean) called the fire department and the police, and me and my brother (Tripp) ran around and checked all the doors, but they were all locked.”
The Duncans said when the police arrived they kicked in the front, side and back doors and ran through the house to see if anyone needed assistance, but the house listed in the county records as belonging to Fred and Shirley Bracewell was empty at the time.
Firefighters responded quickly to the scene and put out the fire in the attic.