‘We all look out for each other’: Woman credits neighbors for help after lightning starts house fire

Published: Oct. 26, 2021 at 5:38 AM EDT|Updated: Oct. 26, 2021 at 4:54 PM EDT
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CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. (WWBT) - A woman in Chesterfield County is thankful for her neighbors after Chesterfield Fire and EMS says lightning from Monday night’s severe storms struck her home and started a fire early Tuesday morning.

Jeanette Gibson felt her house vibrate but didn’t know what was happening until she saw police and firefighters near her home.

“I see police cars and all these fire trucks, and I didn’t think it was from my house,” said Gibson over the phone.

Silas Stuart, who lives across the street from Gibson, smelled something burning around midnight.

“I smelt something like it was burning or scorching. I thought it was in my house at first. I remember the lightning strikes,” said Stuart. “When I raised my back window up, I could see my backyard covered with smoke.”

With a flashlight in hand, Stuart went outside to investigate where the smoke was coming from.

“I was shining my flashlight up the tree. Then, I realized it was coming from over here,” he said.

Stuart refers to Jeanette Gibson’s home, where he saw the smoke coming from the roof.

“I just automatically just ran over,” he said. “I just knew she was most likely in there and needed to be notified.”

Stuart says he banged on Gibson’s front and back doors and called 911 to get first responders on the scene.

“The police showed up right away,” he said. “By the time he got to the door, she opened the door.”

Gibson and her pets left the house safely as firefighters contained the blaze.

A Chesterfield Fire and EMS spokesperson believes the fire was started by lightning, burning the roof and damaging the attic.

Chesterfield Fire and EMS also says no one was injured.

Gibson says she’s thankful for her neighbors, who helped her get through the long, tough night.

“All the neighbors came out and rallied around me and sat outside with me,” Gibson said over the phone with NBC12.

“I didn’t do anything that anybody else up and down this street would’ve done,” Stuart said. “If she would’ve looked outside and saw smoke coming from my roof, she would’ve came and told me.”

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