Close call for Medina family as lightning causes house fire

MEDINA, Ohio-- Strong storms with incredible lightning put on a dangerous display across Northeast Ohio Monday night.

Lightning is believed to have caused a fire that nearly destroyed a home.

"It was like a bomb when it hit, I mean, it was so incredibly loud," said neighbor Josh Zelch.

Just before 2 a.m. Tuesday, a bolt of lightning struck a home on Guilford Boulevard in Medina.

Video taken by a neighbor shows the house up in flames.

"I heard a big crack, loud bang and I had the TV on at the time. And was trying to investigate, trying to get it working, I noticed smoke coming from the backyard and when I went outside to investigate it, I saw a small flame coming from the neighbor's rooftop," Zelch said.

"The big lightning just hit. I could hear something go off," said the 61-year old resident, who called 911.

At first, he was not sure if his house was struck.

"Some kind of a screeching noise. I still have electric on in a lot of the house, but some parts of it, I don't and now I can smell, there's something burning," he said in the call.

The flames continued to grow as the resident realized his roof may have been on fire.

"It's something in the attic. I can't find anyplace else where there's fire," he said.

The man, his wife and their dog made it out of the house. Meanwhile, the entire roof of the home was in flames. More video from neighbors, including FOX 8 employee Pete Noll, shows how intense the fire became.

"The flames started out probably the size of my head, and then it ended up completely expanding and engulfing the rooftop and it was very scary to see," Zelch said.

The family who lived here did not want to speak on camera, but allowed us to show the damage. Fire investigators said they believe the home is a total loss, but it's unclear whether it'll have to be torn down.

"It made me count my blessings and stuff you know because you know, another 50 yards, it could have been my bedroom that it would have hit," Zelch said.