Family: Lightning caused Tolleson house fire - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

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Family: Lightning caused Tolleson house fire

The homeowner said a gaping hole in the roof of this Tolleson is believed to have been caused by a lightning strike and ensuing fire. (Source: CBS 5 News) The homeowner said a gaping hole in the roof of this Tolleson is believed to have been caused by a lightning strike and ensuing fire. (Source: CBS 5 News)
Firefighters extinguished the fire and hadn't determined the official cause. (Source: CBS 5 News) Firefighters extinguished the fire and hadn't determined the official cause. (Source: CBS 5 News)
TOLLESON, AZ (CBS5) -

Firefighters responded to a house fire in Tolleson Thursday morning and they believe it was caused by a lightning strike - from a strong storm front that moved through the West Valley.

The woman who lives in the house, near 91st Avenue and Lower Buckeye Road, said she heard loud thunder around 3:45 a.m. and then saw a bright, white light in her bedroom.

"There was no fire - unbeknownst to me," said Santreesa Taylor. "Now, in the attic - it was doing something different."

The fire began to smolder in the insulation.

It traveled across the attic for two hours before smoke and flames became noticeable.

At that point, Taylor said she grabbed her four children and her dog and ran out of the house.

"I am blessed I got out with my kids," she said. "I was able to save my life and theirs. That's what matters most."

But, in the process of putting out the fire, all of Taylor's belongings - in the house she was renting - were damaged by water.

"Everything is ruined," she said. "All of the TVs and sofas and clothes - everything is just ruined."

Taylor said she does not have renter's insurance and doesn't have money to replace her belongings.

The Red Cross said they are helping Taylor out and her family has opened an account at Arizona Federal Credit Union.

If you'd like to make a donation - reference account No. 8233350.

Copyright 2013 CBS 5 (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

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