Michael Davis said he and his family had only been living in their new Chateau Court home for about a week and a half. A strong thunderstorm struck Stillwater quickly Thursday evening and with it came a lightning strike that started a blaze while he and his daughter were home. No-one was injured. Moments later, the Stillwater High School head boys’ basketball coach was in a neighbor’s garage watching Stillwater firefighters work through the blinding rain.

“Me and my daughter were in our master bedroom and we heard it pop – with the new house, with the alarm system it was hard getting out because the doors lock automatically,” Davis said. “I got her out through my garage door and my wife had just pulled up.”

Davis was told that lightning hit some guttering on the back of the house. When the call came into dispatch at around 7:15 p.m., it was said that it was fully engulfed. The department sent companies from three stations to the scene and issued an all-call to bring in off-duty fire fighters to staff fire stations.

Black smoke was still billowing from the house 20 minutes later.