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Lightning strikes, sets fire to Syracuse home

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Posted at 12:13 PM, May 28, 2015
and last updated 2015-05-28 14:13:39-04

SYRACUSE, Utah -- A Syracuse family received an unwelcome wakeup call when their home was struck by lightning early Thursday morning.

It happened around 6:30 at a residence near 1300 S 4185 W. Homeowner Rodney Ferris said his family heard the lightning strike, but didn't realize the severity of the situation right away.

"My wife and I just had a discussion on how 'Wow, power's gonna be out for a while' and just didn't realize our home was actually the one that was on fire," Ferris said. "The neighbors were banging on our door about five minutes later."

Firefighters responded to Ferris' home within minutes and a roof repair crew was already at the home later Thursday morning.

Christine Kruse, a representative for the National Weather Service, said it happens more often than people realize.

"It's pretty common [...] to have structures hit by lightning. We have about a quarter million strikes a year in Utah alone. It's about two per square mile of Utah, so it's not uncommon, but it's good to have shelter ahead of time," Kruse said.

Since 1996, 19 people have been killed by lightning strikes in Utah and 36 others have been injured.