KATY, Texas — Neighbors heard the lightning strike and then saw the fire Wednesday night at a home in the Ventana Lakes subdivision in Katy.
"My wife could feel the heat from the fire over there,” retired volunteer firefighter Derrick Hughes said.
He lives around the corner and said he felt it even more as he and his son, Colby, an off-duty firefighter, along with several others battled the effects of the fire with only garden hoses.
"We knew we couldn’t do anything for this home," Hughes said about the house likely struck by lightning. "It was nothing we could do with water hoses. So we went ahead and hosed down this other home, you know the exposure so that it didn’t catch on fire also.”
The house believed to have been struck by lightning is gutted. Fortunately, the family wasn’t home at the time. The house next door suffered some minor damage due to wind-blown flames and heat. But we're told that dousing it with water until the fire department arrived definitely helped.
"You know, I was a volunteer firefighter for 20 years," Hughes said. "So no hesitation.”
He said he only wishes that he still had his firefighting protective gear at home in case of another nearby emergency.
Firefighters were glad a Tesla in the home's garage didn't catch fire since their batteries are known to be hard to put out.