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Lightning sets home on fire, VFDs respond in time to save structure

Lightning struck a home in Pearl River County Saturday evening, but volunteer firefighters were able to respond quickly and put out a fire in the attic, saving the home.
Pearl River County Fire Marshal Jonathan Head said the fire occurred Saturday at about 8 p.m. at a home at 15 Short Look Drive in the Hills Subdivision. Investigation into the cause of the fire determined that lightning struck the home during a storm that passed through the county at that time, Head said.
Firefighters from McNeill, Carriere, Henleyfield and Steephollow volunteer departments responded and were able to put the fire out quickly, which was contained in the attic of the home, Head said. The occupants of the home were there at the time of the fire, but were able to escape unharmed.
McNeill Volunteer Fire Department Fire Chief Donny Leonard said he lives around the corner from where the fire occurred, allowing him to be on scene within four minutes of the call.
Leonard said he arrived to find that the fire was contained in a hard to reach area of the attic, forcing firefighters to have to create holes in the roof and ceiling to gain access to the flames.
“I really didn’t think we would be able to save that one,” Leonard said. “I got there with a brush truck, but the smoke was really thick. I just really thought when I topped the hill, thought we would lose it.”
However, by creating the access from the roof and ceiling, the firefighters were able get the flames under control and save the home.
Head said the home suffered significant damage to the attic, but the house was not a total loss.