When lightning touched down on a afternoon, it wasn't the first time a house in the Hidden Ridge sub was struck.
It wasn't the second or even the third time either, neighbors say.
The house on Danielle marked the fourth time lightning bolts found their way to houses off 25 Mile near Ridge Road, resident Michelle McNabb said Friday.
McNabb, whose house is right next door to the one that Thursday, said lightning hit her chimney and exterior bricks in 2003. Unlike her neighbor’s home though, her house was not destroyed by the incident. Damage estimates from the Thursday fire were not immediately available. However, a similar house on the street recently sold for approximately $250,000, according to local a real estate expert.
“There’s definitely an issue going on here,” McNabb said Friday of the lightning.
Her fiancé Greg Sierzan said, “it’s like tornado valley but instead of tornado valley it’s lightning valley.”
McNabb said two other nearby houses were struck in the past several years but were not seriously damaged, however she is concerned about the amount of times the houses have been hit.
The incidents in Hidden Ridge defy odds that one out of 200 houses would be struck by lightning each year, according to the National Lightning Safety Institute, factoring in certain housing measurements and weather conditions.
Over the course of about three decades, ending in 2010, the United States averaged 54 reported lightning fatalities per year. Ten percent of people who are struck by lightning are killed while 90 percent suffer various injuries, according to the National Weather Service Storm Data.
Neighbors, fire crews come to rescue
Sierzan and McNabb first learned of the fire after someone called 911 and a friend of theirs in emergency response heard it on the police and fire radio. The friend then notified them.
They said their neighbor Danielle Trybus and her 95-year-old mother-in-law were inside the home when smoke began billowing out of the house. The husband, Tony Trybus, was not home at the time.
"We ran next door and I pounded on the door," Sierzan said.
He eventually went upstairs to get the elderly woman and escort her to safety.
"I just helped her down the stairs and we got her out," he said.
No one was injured in the fire that destroyed the house, fire officials said.
The home owners are staying with family in nearby Memphis, neighbors say.
McNabb praised the retired couple as great neighbors who are "awesome, very very nice people."
She said they told her a few years back that their adult daughter's home outside New Baltimore was also struck by lightning, but not seriously damaged.
Fire crews from New Baltimore and surrounding departments worked in extreme heat from slightly after 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. to put out the blaze.
Read more about previous lightning-related fires in the Chesterfield and New Baltimore area.
Come back to Patch tomorrow morning to read more about low water pressure problems at the fire scene.