Strong and severe thunderstorms rolled across north Georgia on Saturday morning and one home on the 1600 block of Primrose Park Road in Buford was hit by something more: a bolt of lightning, blasting a hole in the roof of the house.
Resident Ian McKenzie said he heard a loud bang at around 6:30 a.m making him wake up, but he dozed off about 20 minutes later. But then he started to smell smoke prompting him to get up. When he opened the attic door, he saw just a little bit of smoke that was coming between the ridge vent.
McKenzie said: “That’s when I knew I knew that it hit. We have a lot of Christmas decorations up there, so I didn't know if anything was going to catch on fire. We have a lot of Christmas decorations up there, so I didn't know if anything was going to catch on fire."
Gwinnett Fire Capt. Tommy Rutledge said there's extensive damage to the roof and attic space.
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There is also water and smoke damage to the main living area, but firefighters stopped the spread of this fire.
McKenzie shared that it’s heartbreaking for them since it is their first house and they just bought it two years ago. They still consider it brand new. Now they have a big hole in the top of the roof. They’re just trying to put a tarp on it to cover.
Rutledge warned of a round of strong storms ahead. He also advised: "If you're home and you suspect a lightning strike, and you begin to smell smoke or see fire, evacuate the home immediately."
Rutledge also said that while surge protectors and lightning rods can help, they serve as no guarantee for homeowners.
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