INFORUM.com | WDAZ.com

WDAY: The News Leader

Published July 05, 2012, 08:54 AM

Fire destroys rural Manvel home after lightning strike

Manvel, ND (WDAY TV) -- One rural Manvel family is dealing with devastation. Lightening struck the family's home Wednesday, lighting it up in flames while the homeowner was still inside.

By: Lezlie Johnson, WDAZ, WDAY

Manvel, ND (WDAY TV) -- One rural Manvel family is dealing with devastation. Lightening struck the family's home Wednesday, lighting it up in flames while the homeowner was still inside.

"My wedding pictures...oooooh, wedding dress"

25-year-old Ashley Champagne watches as items in her home burn in the blaze... this was her and her husband Jon's first home.

Ashley: "The dog and I were in bed and the thunderstorm started. It was pretty bad thunder too and then I'm assuming lightening struck this end of the house and it was a loud crack bright lights. I got up and checked, saw flames and got out as soon as I could I guess."

The couple have only lived in their single-story home, northwest of Grand Forks, since the end of March. One of the first people Champagne called was her grandmother.

Nancy Bitz/Grandmother: "She called about 9:30 or quarter to ten and she was very calm and said their house was on fire."

Ashley: "The smoke was so bad I could hardly see out there but I wanted to get out in case because the lightening struck right by where our propane goes into the house."

More than 20 firefighters fought the blaze but it took them a little more time getting here because of the weather.

Sheets of rain made travel difficult for fire departments to make it to the rural home.

Marvin Jensen/Emerado Fire Chief: "The visibility was tough seeing getting here because the way it was coming down. I live approximately 3 miles away and had a tough time getting here."

Firefighters from Manvel, Gilby and Emerado fought the blaze for nearly 20 minutes to put out the major flames. They stayed on scene for several hours after to mop up hot spots.

Marvin: "We rolled up with just sheets of rain coming down so once we got here we just set up and started attacking it the best way we could."

As for the family.....Champagne is not sure what the future holds....but she says they may end up living in the same area.

Ashley: "I was shocked, as everybody always says it's a you don't think it's going to happen to you kind of thing until it actually does."

Nancy: "I think they would rebuild out here in this spot, I know they like it here in the country and they have a dog."

The house is a total loss. Luckily, no one was hurt.

Tags: