Severe weather blamed for house fires

HOUSTON - The severe weather that moved through the Houston area has been blamed for several house fires on Wednesday.

A home on Terrace Cove at Ridge Cove in northwest Harris County was still smoldering long after firefighters put the fire out. Fire officials said they believe lightning struck the top of the home.

"It looked like it started in the attic. There's not a lot of mature trees, so the tallest structures out there are the homes," said Robert Rasa of the Cy-Fair Volunteer Fire Department. "We've made several calls out for lightning strike fires out there before. It appears this was the cause at this time as well."

Firefighters said the home was a total loss. This was just one of several fires that kept Cy-Fair fire crews busy.

Investigators are trying to figure out how a fire at Iris Brook at Hillside Glen started as well. The fire heavily damaged the front of the home.

"Harris County arson investigators are on the scene. We had several neighbors who said they heard a loud boom and saw lightning strike," said Rasa. "Now whether this was a strike or the result of a strike, that's what they're investigating right now."

Another weather-related fire was reported in La Porte. In that fire, a mother and her 3-year-old son ran out of their home after seeing bright reflections of light and hearing a loud boom.

The exterior of the home did not sustain much damage, but three rooms inside were gutted.

The La Porte family said they did not have any insurance and the father recently lost his job.

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