Lightning that cracked across the sky early Monday morning left one family homeless in a fiery rage but, with the support of their community, they have been given a spark of hope.
Local residents Luis and KC Rodriguez, and their 6-year-old daughter Maddy, found themselves without a home after a lightning bolt struck their house in the Harvest Hills subdivision in Marion, burning it to the ground, according to a GoFundMe page created to assist the family.
“No one was injured and everyone got out safely,” Guadalupe County Assistant Fire Marshal Bryce Houlton said. “We’re thinking the fire was caused by a lightning strike, but it’s still under investigation at this time.”
The fire was reported about 1:36 a.m. Crews from Marion, Lake Dunlap, Lake McQueeney, Cibolo and Schertz fire departments put the inferno to rest, Houlton said.
It took crews some time to put out the flames, however, the damage was done, leaving only what can be described as a shell of the home, along with the charred remains of what appeared to be an SUV still sitting in the garage.
“A neighbor happened to be looking out of his window and saw the lightning strike the house and called them and said, ‘Hey, you guys need to get out,’” Joe Davis, a nearby neighbor, said. “It was crazy. It just seemed like the whole neighborhood was out here watching. We could feel the heat coming from it.”
However, the family is not alone. The community has stood behind the Rodriguez family offering up support in any way that it can. One Schertz resident created a GoFundMe page to gather donations for the family that, as of Monday afternoon, had amassed more than $3,000.
“At 1 o’clock this morning, lighting hit the house but a lot of us were asleep. Then when we woke up, it was just all flames,” neighbor Jackie McClendon said. “We’re on the Nextdoor App and everyone’s gathering around on there to get gift cards and whatever they need on there. From what I read, they have family down in Cibolo, but they all got out safe.”
Although times are tough, the family of three has stayed strong. In a recent post on their GoFundMe page, KC Rodriguez took the time to address all those who had helped them.
“Thank you, everyone, for your support and prayers. We’ve lost everything and need to purchase hearing aids for Maddy. God is good and we are safe.”
Meteorologist Cory Van Pelt, of the National Weather Service in New Braunfels, estimated that warmer days are ahead of us for now, however, things might start to get wet again at the end of the week.
“We’re going to dry out and heat up near 100 degrees by Wednesday and possibly 101 degrees on Thursday, but toward the weekend we have some low-end chances of rain.”
According to Van Pelt, the recent sporadic weather is nothing out of the ordinary.
“This month is kind of a transition month between the spring storminess and the summer doldrums so this is just one of those years that varies and we’re getting a lot of this noisy stuff this June,” he said.
There isn’t much one can do to protect a home from lightning strikes, Van Pelt said.
“We always tell people to stay inside your homes if there is a storm,” he said. “Of course, if your house gets struck by lightning, then you’re kind of in a predicament but otherwise you’re safe inside the house. Just don’t stand under a tree or anything like that. You can also go the route of putting lightning rods on your house, but that can be an investment.”