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Boy Helps Save House after Lightning Strike

By Mike Valerio, Reporter
Published On: Jul 29 2012 05:50:25 PM CDT
JACKSONVILLE -

An Onslow County fifth grader is credited for his quick thinking Saturday night, after he noticed smoke billowing from his neighbor's attic.

The house was struck by lightning around 6:30 p.m. as strong storms moved through the area. No one was inside the home on Crystal Falls Court when a lightning bolt struck the roof, igniting an attic fire.

"I heard lightning go, 'bah boom,'" 10-year old Dylan Mitchell exclaimed. "We thought it struck in the woods behind us, not one of the houses here."

While a birthday party went on in Mitchell's house, the boy went back in his room, and looked through his blinds to check on the rain. That's when he saw smoke two houses away.

"I told everybody in my house, and we all called 911," Mitchell said. "Then the firemen came and put out the fire."

A Marine rents the home, but was traveling when the incident took place. Crews made two holes in the roof to bring in hoses near the fire, extinguishing burning insulation.

Within the past two weeks, two other houses have been struck by lightning - one south of New Bern, and another in Winterville. The Winterville home had a hole cut clear through the roof, striking near the owner's work-out equipment.

No injuries were reported in Saturday's incident. Thanks to Mitchell's quick action and the work of dozens of firefighters, the house is still standing. There was no word of how much work will need to be done to repair the damage.