"We want to thank the first responders for their kindness and care for our family and pets. We appreciate their hard work and sacrifice." - Rachel Fedor
During last week’s thunderstorms, a family in Bergheim had a startling jolt when a bolt of lightning directly struck their home and sparked a fire.
At 2 a.m. on April 18, during a squall-line wave of thunderstorms that caused large hail in parts of the county, the residence of 112 Winchester Ave. had a direct hit from a bolt of lightning.
Reports state a fire started in the upstairs bathroom and owner Brett Fedor tried to put out the flames with a fire extinguisher before seeking help.
Adam Hawkins, Bergheim Volunteer Fire Department Fire Chief, said it was raining heavily and most of the fire was extinguished before his unit arrived.
Hawkins said the lightning bolt blew off parts of the roof and sent a shockwave through the house, but the family was able to make it out safely.
He said the crew helped with a roof flare-up, and by the time the fire was contained, the house had suffered major damage.
Reports state EMS was requested for a male on site suffering from smoke inhalation.
Home owner Rachel Fedor said the family is currently living in an empty apartment next door owned by her sister.
Fedor said the family is waiting for insurance support and is not seeking donations at this time.
“I’ve cried more about all the help we’ve received from our church, than from the damage from the fire,” Fedor said. “We haven’t had to cook a meal since it happened. They’ve been super supportive.”
She said the kids went to school Tuesday for the first time since the incident.
“It’s funny how it hits sometimes,” she said. “I was letting the school and counselors know about what happened and it took a while to talk about it without choking up.”
“It’s good to keep it all in perspective, because we are all still alive,” she said. "We want to thank the first responders for their kindness and care for our family and pets. We appreciate their hard work and sacrifice."