Massachusetts 'House Shook' After Apparent Lightning Strike, Fire

By Jason Hall

July 8, 2021

Lightning Strikes Above Home
Photo: Getty Images

A lightning strike is believed to have caused a fire resulting in heavy damage to a Franklin, Massachusetts home early Thursday (July 8) morning.

Homeowner Robert Glencross told CBS Boston that he was woken up by a starling sound at around 4:00 a.m.

“It was the loudest explosion. It sounded like a bomb going off. It was just like that, ba-boom! The house shook, I shook and I knew what it was,” Glencross said. “There is no doubt about it. It hit the house and it hit it good.”

Glencross said he grabbed his cell phone and wallet before running out of his North Park Street home and was met by pouring rain and smoke coming out of his roof, which then erupted in flames.

“All the wires and all the electrical outlets started popping off. It looked like the fireworks,” Glencross said.

Three people who live on the other side of the two-family house made it out of the fire safely, but tragically, one pet was lost in the incident.

Fire Chief James McLaughlin told CBS Boston that it took a long time to contain the fire Thursday morning.

“There’s always challenges with a fire like this. We had heavy fire conditions on the second floor, they made it difficult to fight the fire,” Fire Chief James McLaughlin said.

Glencross said he's a collector and firefighters were able to save some of his personal items, but he still feels he lost a lot in the fire to his home of six years.

He also confirmed that the residents on the other side of the home have lived there for more than a century.

“For 120 years that family’s lived there and I feel bad for them because obviously, there’s a lot of history there,” Glencross said.

While Glencross believes the fire was caused by lightning, its official cause remains under investigation.

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