Wetumpka family loses home to lightning fire

Wetumpka family loses home to lightning fire

ELMORE CO., AL (WSFA) - A family in Wetumpka is without a home of their own. They lost everything in a devastating fire, and the homeowners say severe weather is to blame.

Bernetta Humphrey's life changed in a flash.

"Smoke just started coming real fast," Humphrey said.

The Wetumpka woman was home with her three grandchildren when a storm rolled through the area Thursday afternoon.

"I heard it first and then when the lights blinked at first and came back on and I heard something pop," Humphrey said.

The grandmother is convinced lightning struck her home.

"When I walked around the dining room and looked, I could see the fire through my bi-fold doors," Humphrey said.

The Wetumpka fire chief says what Humphrey experienced is in line with the evidence.

"Lighting did run in into the laundry room and ignite some combustibles," said Greg Willis, Wetumpka fire chief.

"All I could see was the house burning all the way around and it burned all the way down," Humphrey said.

The family tried to take shelter outside their front door but as the flames grew they had to run for cover, watching close to 20 years of memories burn to the ground. A lifetime up in some within an hour.

A freak accident that is surprisingly not as uncommon as we think.

"Especially in this part of the country with the very sharp lightning we have it's a frequent consideration when we go out there that it's a possible cause," Willis said.

Now, the family is forced to sift through debris with nothing but the clothes on their backs.

"Everything, everything, all my shoes and clothes and my grandbabies clothes and shoes, my husband's clothes and shoes, we've got nothing," Humphrey said.

Their possessions may be charred but not their outlook.

"The Lord allowed us to get out safe and I thank God for that," Humphrey said.

Copyright 2016 WSFA 12 News. All rights reserved.