Poteau House Fire Likely Caused By Lightning Strike

POTEAU, OK (KFSM) -- A local man loses his home, after what was likely a lightning strike that started a fire.

Ricky Ryburn says no one was at his house when the fire started just before eight last night.

“Some neighbors said there was a big flash of lightning down here and then they saw smoke a little while later, and that’s when the calls started coming in that there was a fire down here,” he said.

When he got to his house, firefighters were still working to put out the flames.

“They had to put a hole in the roof and go through that later when they realized it was up there, but it was just a…I don’t know what to say,” he said.

Kenneth Hess lives down the street and was on his way home from church last night when he drove by seeing the fire.

“We had a real bad lightning storm come through here just right before that, and I would guess it probably hit the garage because that was what was on fire when we showed up and within about 10 minutes it was all the way through the house,” Hess said.

Ryburn thinks the house is a total loss except for some clothes. There is heavy smoke and water damage he said. 

“I mean everything here can be replaced, I’m just glad my daughter isn’t here this weekend, and we weren’t back there in bed, but there were a few things that were sentimental value that can’t ever be replaced,” he said.

The Poteau fire department will be investigating what actually did start the fire.

The homeowner not only lost his house and what was outside, but he also lost one of his cars. He does have insurance.

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