Lightning was the apparent cause of a fire Tuesday in the West Lake community in Martinez.
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 suffered smoke and water damage.
Barbara Tealebi and her daughter Nadia live next door and were in their backyard about 5 p.m.
“We saw the lightning strike and then we saw white smoke heading our way,” said Tealebi.
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 and the police kicked in the front, side and back doors and ran through the house to see if there was anyone home in need of assistance, but the house – listed in the county records as belonging to Fred and Shirley Bracewell – was empty.