Lightning Strikes Three Tyler Homes - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News


Lightning Strikes Three Tyler Homes

Jerry Spencer's wife, Becky, was upstairs this morning when she heard the lightning crash. Thirty minutes later, she smelled smoke and went to wake up her husband.

It was coming out of their air vents, but the couple says they didn't see any fire at first.

"I told Becky, 'Just to be safe, move the car,' and so, when she opened the garage door it was really going in there," says Jerry.

The garage sustained the worst fire damage; particularly, the back corner of the garage. It was a storage room where Becky says she recently moved a lot of her mother's old things. So, not only did she lose her car, but she lost a lot of things that had sentimental value like an old piggy bank her mother gave her when she was just a little girl.

Just a few miles away, crews were repairing a natural gas line at another home.  It was struck by lighting and caught fire just feet from Tres Smith's daughter's room.

"We came out and turned the water hose on it, and at that point we could smell the gas, so we realized trying to put the fire out wasn't the smartest thing to do," says Tres.

On the other side of town, Frances Little was asleep in her bedroom.

"I thought I smelled something burning," says Little.

Lightning struck just above the kitchen and caught the attic on fire. For her, it will probably take a few days to get things back in order, but it will be months before the Spencer's can move back into their home.

Investigators say it sustained about $300,000 worth of damage. Right now, they're not worried about it. They're just thankful no one was hurt.

The Spencer's and Mrs. Little say were it not for the sound of the thunder, things might have turned out differently.  Neither of them had a working smoke detector.

Lindsay Wilcox, reporting,



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