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Peconic home destroyed by fire after apparent lightning strike


A Peconic home under renovation was completely destroyed by fire after an apparent lighting strike Wednesday afternoon during a quick-moving storm, according to witnesses.

The house on Wells Road was engulfed in flames by the time the first members of the Southold Fire Department arrived on scene shortly before 4:30 p.m. Southold assistant chief Jim Rich, who was second on scene, said the home was “fully involved” when he got to the scene.

Neighbors described hearing a big bang and then seeing the home quickly go up in flames.

“Lightning was crashing all over the water,” said Connor Davis, who was at the home next door. He heard the loud bang and “before you knew it, it was up in flames,” he said.

No one appeared to be home at the time, witnesses said.

Mr. Davis said the fire became so hot he could feel the heat coming from his window. The siding on the house he was in next door, which Mr. Davis said he was renting with family, started to melt.

Ada Horton, who lives fives houses down, said she heard a “big ba-boom.” At the same time, she saw the house begin to go up in flames.

Fire officials could not immediately confirm the fire was started by lightning. An arson squad will investigate the fire.

Rising gray smoke from the fire was visible for miles.

“They’re a great family, awesome neighbors,” Mr. Davis said.

Photo caption: Southold firefighters on scene of the house fire in Peconic. (Credit: Paul Squire)