LIBERTY TOWNSHIP, OH (FOX19) - Lightning is to blame for sparking the fire that destroyed a large home in Liberty Township early Wednesday morning.
Owner Gary Keller says he could see the glow of the flames as he raced home along I-75. Keller knows about storms, he has his own water restoration business. In fact, Keller says he had been helping other families deal with the storm's flooding problems when he got the call from his fiancé that the house had been hit.
"We enjoyed [the house], we enjoyed the view," Keller said standing in front of the home. "Kind of short lived, but we'll live for another day, we'll figure it out."
Keller had the house custom built on the Liberty Township property.
"There were very few things that I really would have changed. But now I guess I'll have to opportunity to maybe change them," Keller said optimistically.
Keller says right now they are planning to rebuild.
Knowing his house on a hill might welcome lightning, Keller had a 65 foot flag pole installed to help lure it away from his home.
"I wanted to not only be patriotic, but to also use it as a lightning rod," he explained.
Mother Nature bypassed the flagpole Wednesday, however and struck his home directly with his fiancé and her mother inside.
"She was saying as she got out she could feel the heat on the back of her legs," Keller shared.
Everyone, including their rescue Great Dane Skipper, was able to get out unharmed.
He says all they have right now from the inside of the home are the clothes off their back.
Keller says damage is estimated at nearly $1 million.
Firefighters arrived at the home at 8325 Princeton Road just after midnight.
Keller and his fiancé say they are thankful for all of the support from friends and community members who reached out after hearing about the tragic fire.