Columbia County home destroyed by lightning strike, fire

By: Melissa Tune Email
By: Melissa Tune Email

News 12 at 11 o'clock, July 27, 2010

MARTINEZ, Ga. --- There were several house fires in the area tonight, and News 12 has confirmed at least one of them was caused by a lightning strike.

A Columbia County family's home is destroyed, but the owner is says it could have been worse. While her home is destroyed, her family is safe, and that, she says, is all that matters.

You can blame a summer storm for the extensive roof damage on a beautiful brick house on Quail Spring Circle in Martinez. Marianne Goss and her husband live at the home. When Goss got a phone call at work late Tuesday, she knew it had to be important. It was a neighbor calling to tell her her home had been struck by lightning.

"She said, 'You need to come home; your house is on fire,'" said Goss. "When I came down Flowing Wells, I saw the smoke and the flames, and I knew it was bad. I just kept praying, 'Please don't let it be too bad.'"

It is bad, but Goss still counts her blessings.

"My first thought was thank God we had no people in the house, and no animals," she said.

Linda Coffman is the quick-thinking neighbor who called 911 and then her friend.

"We saw a really, really large lightning strike that just felt like it was right outside, and we thought it might have hit something close," she said.

That "something close" was her neighbor's home.

"Pretty soon we saw flames coming out of the attic," Coffman said.

Martinez Fire Battalion Chief Danny Kuhlmann responded to calls all evening. He says fires caused by lightning strikes are common in the summer.

"The house was actually struck by lightning, and it struck the tree next to the house, and it came in on the tree," said Kuhlmann.

Goss says she is thankful to have caring and alert neighbors and friends that she can count on.

"You just never believe something like that's going to happen to you," said Goss. "But we will rebuild and make it better than it is now, or whatever the case may be, but this is where our home is, and this is where we're staying."

The battalion chief says that the extent of the damage goes beyond the attic. There is water damage in the lower level of the home and lots of items were damaged that way. Goss says they'll talk to the insurance company to determine the next move.

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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by Nicole Location: Martinez on Jul 28, 2010 at 03:49 PM
    My heart goes out to the family.....MAY GOD give you strength......THANK GOD that no one was hurt....material things can be replaced but a precious life cannot.....
  • by LB Location: Martinez on Jul 28, 2010 at 01:10 PM
    Rut roh, the spelling police are out! My thoughts and prayers go out to the Goss's. I was standing on my front porch, when the firetrucks whizzed on by going into Springlakes. Thankfully no one was hurt.
  • by mandy Location: augusta on Jul 28, 2010 at 11:46 AM
    this morning the house next to it cought on fire!NOt as bad
  • by Get Real! on Jul 28, 2010 at 09:47 AM
    Come on folks, a family's house is destroyed and you're worried about spelling!
  • by M.K Location: Augsuta on Jul 28, 2010 at 08:45 AM
    The Goss's are wonderful people. Very strong and faithful. They will re-build and my prayers will be with them as they do so!
  • by SARAH Location: AUGUSTA on Jul 28, 2010 at 07:57 AM
    Sadly, even a college degree doesn't help....
  • by Jim Location: Augusta on Jul 28, 2010 at 04:47 AM
    You should spell check before posting headline. It is spelled "lightning" not lightening. LOL
  • by Michelle Location: Augusta on Jul 28, 2010 at 03:30 AM
    Please edit for spelling before posting a story. "Lightening" is turning to a lighter color or brightening. "Lightning" is the storm-related electrical charge that set the house on fire. They are not interchangeable.
  • by devojoe Location: evans on Jul 27, 2010 at 07:36 PM
    where do they get these reporters? lightening??? it's lightning Melissa I hope you don't have a college
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