Lightning strike sparks NKY house fire

A man had to be taken to the hospital.
Published: Aug. 24, 2023 at 9:49 AM EDT|Updated: Aug. 24, 2023 at 10:03 AM EDT
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VILLA HILLS, Ky. (WXIX) - Lightning during Thursday’s storms sparked a house fire in Northern Kentucky, fire officials say.

It happened around 8:30 a.m. in the 2400 block of Cecelia Drive in Villa Hills, according to Fire Chief Jeff Wendt.

Jackie Chitwood was asleep in bed on the second floor when a loud boom woke her up. She opened her eyes and saw her curtains on fire, she said.

“And the room kind of lit up a little bit,” explained Chitwood. “By the time I kind of figured out where it came from, I looked, and I could see what looked to be flames coming out from behind a dresser that we have in our bedroom.”

Her husband, who was outside with their dog at the time, rushed back in and upstairs to try and extinguish the flames.

“My husband wasn’t feeling well, and he was very emotional and ended up getting checked out by the paramedics,” said Chitwood. “He had some smoke inhalation, and he’s also a heart patient. So, they wanted to keep him there because of that. They’re keeping him overnight.”

Chitwood is thankful that she, her husband, and their dog were all able to get out in time.

However, she’s fearful that there isn’t a timeline right now for when her family will be able to return to their home.

Officials say the fire was mostly contained to the upstairs bedroom and caused around $30,000 in damage.

“This is the last thing I thought we’d be dealing with,” said Chitwood. “It’s the house I grew up in. My family moved into the house in 1973. My mom lived there. She passed in 2017 and Ken and I took over residency. And we’ve been doing updates here and there and making the house our own.”

Chitwood says her family is currently staying in a hotel as they wait for their insurance to assess the damage and get repairs made.

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