WALESKA — Wednesday’s storms produced heavy lightning that left one house destroyed and another with minor damage as they moved through Cherokee County.
A house on Land Road, just off Highway 140 in Waleska, caught fire Wednesday afternoon at about 3:30 p.m. after it was struck by lightning during the storm, said Cherokee County Fire and Emergency Services spokesperson Tim Cavender.
Homeowners James and Briggite Nesmith were in Canton leaving the YMCA and could see the storm north of the city near Waleska, and they decided to rush home, Cavender said.
When the owners got close to their home, they realized the thick black smoke in the area was coming from their house, he said.
“A neighbor heard the lightning strike and went to check on the house,” Cavender said. “He saw smoke and fire coming from the house and contacted 911.”
Brian Ward, a Cherokee County firefighter, was one of the first on the scene and said heavy smoke was coming through the front door and he saw lots of flames in the house.
According to Cherokee County Fire Investigator Ashley Cornelison, the fire started from a lightning strike, and a tree about 50 feet from the house was also struck and fell.
As the investigation continued Thursday, it was determined the house may have been struck twice, Cavender said.
The home was completely destroyed in the fire, but nobody was injured, Cavender said. Part of Land Road was blocked until the clean-up was finished.
Another house on Fincher Road was struck by lightning, and Cavender said the damage there was minor.