Lightning strikes Chaska, Minn. home - My29 WFTC Minneapolis-St. Paul

Lightning strikes Chaska, Minn. home

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CHASKA, Minn. (KMSP) -

A lightning strike caused fire damage to a new Chaska home on Sunday morning -- and the homeowner is also the man who built it.

Ryan Seifert built each and every corner of the house on Fairway Drive near the Chaska Town Course, and he was inside when the bolt blasted his family out of bed.

"It just jolted the whole house," he recalled. "The lamps shook a little bit."

Seifert told FOX 9 News his alarm went off seconds before the strike, and he knew it was lightning right away -- but he didn't know if it hit the house. When he went outside to check, he heard his wife call out.

"My wife had said, from our back bedroom, she could see a little smoke coming off the tip of he roof up there," Seifert said.

The lightning struck above the garage in an area where Seifert's in-laws were sleeping, but everyone was able to escape safely. As soon as his family was safe, Seifert called 911.

"By the time they got here and they got in the house, you could see it just crawling along the ridge line of the house and back and forth," he said.

In just five minutes, the fire spread and damaged the rooms above the garage, but smoke damage can be found throughout the house.

"I framed those roof lines," Seifert lamented. "I sided that, I painted that, I put all those windows in and it's a lot of nights and weekends burned up."

As a professional builder, Seifert had heard stories of lightning strikes from clients, but he said it's certainly different to experience it yourself.

"I can't believe how quickly that can light a house on fire," he said.

Now, Seifert hopes those who hear his story won't wait, not even for a minute, to check if lightning has struck their home -- especially since he can't imagine what would have happened if his wife hadn't seen the smoke.

"It wouldn't take long," he warned. "It would shoot all the way through that roof system and the whole house would burn to the ground."

No one was injured in the fire, but the damage was still a jolt for the family because they had just moved into their dream home in December. In fact, the driveway and yard aren't quite finished yet.

There is no damage estimate yet. Seifert told FOX 9 News he'll need to walk through the whole house and see how much of the home will need cleaning or repair.

 

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