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Lightning The Believed Culprit In 4 Collin County Fires

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COLLIN COUNTY (CBSDFW.COM) – Wednesday’s stormy weather may be to blame for several house fires in Collin County.

Fire investigators believe lightning caused two Frisco house fires.

Firefighters were called to the first blaze just after 11:15 a.m. When crews arrived in the 5900 block of Aberdeen Place they found heavy smoke and flames shooting from the house.

The fire burned through the roof, leaving the interior exposed as more rain continued to fall.

It took fire crews and two engines less than 30 minutes to get the fire under control.

An estimated $450,000 in damage was caused from the Aberdeen blaze.

The call for the second fire was received minutes before Noon. Frisco fire crews found the two-story house, in the 12000 block of Botanical Lane, fully engulfed.

It took firefighters nearly an hour and a half to extinguish the blaze that investigators believe started in the attic.

According to Assistant Chief Lee Glover, with the Frisco Fire Department, some residents were at home and after hearing a loud noise suspected their home had been hit by lightning.

“When they smelled smoke, they walked outside, so fortunately, no one was hurt,” Glover said.

Damages at the Botanical fire are estimated at $250,000.

In McKinney, three houses were struck by lightning within minutes of each other.

Fire officials there say the first house didn’t catch fire; but the other two sustained substantial damage.

When severe weather moved through McKinney homeowners Nikki and Cassi Sarad said they were sitting in the driveway, wondering why the garage door wouldn’t open.

“So we played around with it [the opener],” Nikki recalled. “Maybe we did that for a couple of minutes. And then we heard this huge boom! The loudest thunder we ever heard.”

The Sarad’s say they never saw the lightning — but, the incredible ‘boom’ made them jump in their seats.

“I looked up and said, “‘Nikki! There’s smoke!’ And he said that the house is one fire.”

The couple told CBS 11 News that they didn’t want to think about what could have happened had they been inside the home, and perhaps in one of the upstairs rooms.

One of the homes burned in McKinney is predicted to be a total loss.

There have been no reports of injuries in any of the fires.

When asked about the high number of lightning fires associated with the storm, McKinney’s Asst. Fire Chief Tom Mock said, “That’s just the way it goes, sometimes.  We can’t really control the lightning strikes, we just fight ‘em.”

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