Lightning strikes NE Bend duplex, sparks fire

'Louder than a gunshot'

Lightning strikes house, starts fire

BEND, Ore. - There was a rude awakening from Mother Nature Monday night at the Rushton duplex in northeast Bend.

"It was storming out, and then we heard a great big loud sound that sounded louder than a gunshot," said Shannon Rushton. "It's loud -- it's incredibly loud. It shook all the windows, it shook this whole place. All the fire alarms went off and there was a bright light that I thought came from the front."

The lightning strike actually hit the roof of her duplex.

"We actually went outside and took a look, and then went to the back to take a look and my boyfriend said, 'Oh, there's a fire,'" she said.

Rushton called 911. Bend fire officials say the power from the lightning surged underground to the neighboring four-plex off Nikki Court, causing the material in the crawlspace below the four-plex to ignite.

Fire crews were able to douse the flames quickly.

The duplex Rushton lives in had minor roof damage from the strike. The lightning and subsequent fire caused about $5,000 in damage to the four-plex.

"We ended up losing one computer and our neighbor said she lost a router and her phone chargers," Rushton said.

Rushton says she'll be unplugging her computers during storms now, and trying to stay safe inside.

More safety information for lightning:

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