LEXINGTON, S.C. (WIS) - Lexington County Fire Services determined a fire on Allenbrooke Drive that forced two college students to move out of their home was possibly caused by lightning.
The fire took place on August 19th, just before 7 p.m. Fire officials said there was heavy damage done to the second floor of the home.
Two sisters, Makayla Hansen and Cera Hansen, were inside when their home caught fire.
"We heard a loud noise and we didn't really know what it was at the time,” Cera Hansen said.
The Hansen sisters said smoke started pouring from their vents and clouded the house quickly.
"The fire alarm started going off and immediately the house started filling with smoke," Cera Hansen said.
Besides the fear of their house catching fire, they say one of scariest parts of it all was when their cat ran upstairs, and because of the smoke, he was nowhere in sight.
“When we first realized that there was smoke, and obviously something was wrong, she took her dog out, she was on the phone with 911, and I was trying to get my cat into his crate, but he doesn't like being picked up, so I spooked him so he ran upstairs," Cera Hansen said. “I tried following him but my room was filled with smoke so it was really hard to see and then two more guys came in and tried to help get him but it just ended up being too smoky.”
Dustin Derrick and Xavier Davis were two firefighters from Lexington County Fire Service that responded that day.
It was thanks to them the Apollo, Cera’s cat was found alive.
“We heard the cat meowing, we heard noises so we searched the room, we found the cat in the window, trying to get out of the window but couldn’t because of the screaming and the cat just dove into our arms,” Davis said. “It was very rewarding and you get your own joy because you know you did your job.”
The firefighters say life safety is a priority, and that priority extends to pets.
“I would want the same thing if it were my cat inside or my dog,” Derrick said.
“I don’t think it hit until I was holding him,” Cera Hansen said. It was a feeling of relief.
As for the sisters, they do have insurance and have been moved to a different place to live, but they say they will likely have to move again in 6 months.
Experts say if your home is hit by lightning to call 911 even if you do not detect a fire hazard.
Once the fire department assesses the area for damage, it’s recommended to call an electrician to come out and inspect home wiring.