A home on Westhaven Drive in Mechanicsville is a total loss after a fire broke out late Sunday afternoon. Now the owners are trying to salvage what they can.
Lanty Underwood has lived in this home with his wife for 34 years.
"It's been a good house," Underwood said. "Good memories."
His life is now on full display in his front yard. His family has managed to salvage a few photos from inside their burned out home. Amazingly this isn't the first time this month his property has been struck by lightning.
The saying goes that lightning doesn't strike twice in the same place, but that's exactly what happened at the Underwood's home. A tree was struck two weeks ago only about 40 feet from their home.
He thought it couldn't happen again. That's until he got a phone call at his granddaughter's birthday party.
The fire had spread throughout his home by the time he got back.
"Wasn't really anything I could do except watch it," he said. "The Fire Department was here and they did about all they could do."
So can you do to protect your home from lightning?
One of the few things you can do is install a lightning rod. It should attract a bolt during a thunderstorm and diffuse all that energy into the ground - instead of through your house.
"If you're in a neighborhood with a whole lot of big trees around, it's likely one of the trees is going to get hit," NBC12 Meteorologist Andrew Freiden said. "But if you're maybe a brand new neighborhood where all the trees have been cut down and your house is the tallest thing, that would make me think a little that maybe, yeah I want to get a lightning rod on my home."
A professionally installed lightning rod system typically costs between two to three thousand dollars - but it could save your home.
The Red Cross is helping the Underwoods.
Typically home owner's insurance will cover damage from lightning strikes. Unfortunately for the Underwoods - they got rid of their policy after Underwood was laid off from his job.
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