Lightning strikes three Ottawa homes in one night, sparking fires
Published Friday, June 28, 2019 9:57PM EDT
Lightning strikes sparked three fires across Ottawa during Thursday night’s thunderstorm, leaving the homeowners and their families dealing with the aftermath.
Gianna Carchidi was in her Ambiance Drive home when she heard the bang on the roof. But she didn’t think anything of it until a neighbour knocked on the door.
The bang had been a bolt of lightning, striking her house.
Her neighbor told her, “‘You have to get out. Because your roof is on fire,’” Carchidi told CTV News Friday morning.
The blaze consumed her roof, eating away a hole the size of a van. Video captured by neighbours show the flames leaping high as firefighters aim hoses at the fire.
Residents of a home on Brockington Crescent found themselves also fleeing a fire that night that started on their roof.
“The bathroom and the carpet and everything, they’re damaged,” Narendra Chokshi said Friday, standing in front of his ruined home. “The inspectors, they came in and they said it happened with the lightning. Last night (was) very terrible.”
At 5 Waterford Way, it took residents four hours after the lightning strike to realize there was smoke coming from their roof. Ottawa fire said that the blaze reached the attic and roof of one unit in a four-door residential row.
“Smoke coming out of my roof, I was convinced that my house was finished,” said Mark Weissburger, one of the residents who fled the building. But it turned out that the Weissburgers will not be displaced by the fire; they only need to replace their metal roof.
“Lucky,” he said. “That’s the word.”
The residents at the two other addresses were not so lucky. Chokshi and his family are staying elsewhere while insurance officials survey the damage to his home, and Carchidi’s home is equally unsafe to live in while repairs are going on.
“They’re doing a fast job, looks like,” she said. “So that’s good.”
The damage to all three homes is estimated to be in the hundreds of thousands of dollars.