LEAGUE CITY, Texas – A house fire in League City is believed to have been started a lightning strike during severe thunderstorms that passed through the Houston area Wednesday afternoon. Three cats were killed in the fire, the family said.
Homeowner Steve Austin said the family was going about their normal routine when everything suddenly changed.
“Started pouring down rain, that was lasting a while and then all of a sudden we had a huge flash and a loud boom. My wife comes in and says I think we got struck by lightning," Austin said.
It wasn’t long after hearing a clap of thunder that the family discovered a fire in the attic, Austin said.
“Get the kids, get the animals. Get whatever a couple of valuables we can get, call 911 and get out and get safe,” he said.
When fire crews arrived at scene, they briefly had to take a defensive approach because of the severe weather they faced while battling the fire.
“The wind was blowing and it look like they had under control and then you look up 10 minutes later and the roof was just blazing again,” Austin said.
It took crews more than an hour to finally put the fire out.
While the family and their dogs made it out safely, three cats perished.
“The daughters are pretty broken up about that, but the humans got out fine and the two dogs got out fine. So we did lose a couple of animals,” explained Austin.
While authorities are still assessing the damage, firefighters believe the home may be a total loss. The family is now left trying to save anything they can after a fire they never could have imagined.
”You just kind of pass it off and think it must’ve been a transformer or something. But never dreamed it was my house that had been struck. Never dreamed it would start on fire,” said Austin.