Family loses home from lightning strike in North Naples

Most people don’t expect lightning to strike so close to home.

But that’s exactly what happened when Dave Stewart got a call to let him know his father’s home in North Naples had been struck by lightning and was up in flames.

“His fiancée called and said, ‘You know what’s going on?’” Stewart said. “And I said, ‘No.’ She said, ‘Lightning hit the house, and it’s on fire.’”

Stewart said he rushed over to the home, and several fire trucks and crew members were surrounding it when he arrived.

North Collier Fire Control & Rescue District not only battled a fire but mother nature too when it responded to the home aflame.

Battalion Chief Steve Rodriguez said at one point his crew was in danger because of the frequent lightning .

“I told my crews to fight the fire from inside the crews,” Rodriguez said. “They were outside, told them to seek shelter.”

Rodriguez said fighting the fire from the inside is a more effective way to put the fire out, with the challenges lightning and the height of the ceilings. And the inside of them home was almost unrecognizable.

“Water everywhere, Ceilings are falling down,” Rodriguez said. “They have to use a rod to pull the ceiling and rip the drywall down to see where the fire was, so there’s insulation all over. It’s just a mess.”

Stewart said they will do what they can now for his dad, so he has a roof over his head for the short term.

“I’m gonna help my dad grab clothes and the things that they need to live, and we’re going to get him somewhere,” Stewart said.

Reporter:Jerrica Valtierra
Writer:Jack Lowenstein
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