Lightning-sparked fire displaces two families

Lightning ignited fire in topsail

ONSLOW COUNTY - A lightning strike ignited a fire inside a four-unit house on Topsail Island.

The unit is on New River Inlet Rd. on Topsail Island, according to North Topsail Beach Fire Department Captain Bill Poe.

Spectators say it was a strong storm.

"But I mean it was a big storm," says Jan Hargett a vacationer to Topsail, "And I've been coming to Topsail Island for 39 years so, it's the worse storm I've ever seen down here."

There wasn't any evidence of a lightning strike on the outside of the complex. Homeowners say they only noticed the fire from the smell of smoke in their house.

Several emergency response teams were on the scene. They used infrared meters to find hot spots in walls. Then they used hatchets to break open walls to search for the hidden flames.

The fire was put out quickly, but power has yet to be returned to the units.

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