Lightning Sparks House Fire, Ending Wild Week Of Weather

A Highfill home caught fire after being struck by lightning on Friday (Jan. 10), which also knocked out the power at other houses in the neighborhood.

Benton County fire officials said lightning was responsible for the house fire near Main and 4th streets on Friday morning. Seven nearby houses lost power, but their electricity was soon restored, officials said.

The homeowner, David Watanabe, who also lives in a residence next door, said he heard a loud pop and lost power in his home. He said he then went outside and saw thick smoke coming from the house next door, where his son Jeremy lives. Jeremy was not home at the time of the incident.

“I called 911 and came up here,” Watanabe said. ” I was going to put it out, try to fight it, but it was too smoky. I had to open the door and step back — and waited on the fire department.”

No injuries were reported in the incident.

The fire ended a wild week in weather across Northwest Arkansas.

Snow, ice, single digit temperatures, rain, wind, lightning, thunder, even sunshine hit the area all week long, causing car crashes and making kids and adults sick.

Many school districts were forced to close down, with most districts resuming classes by Friday (Jan. 10).

The Ball Street bridge in Johnson also flooded on Friday (Jan. 10) due to heavy rain, capping off a week of varying weather for Northwest Arkansas.

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