Brevard Co. firefighters respond to nearly 20 homes struck by lightning

- A home in Viera was one of about 20 that firefighters rushed to Saturday afternoon after a storm ripped through Brevard County.

The lightning tore through the corner of one garage, blasting shingles off the roof and even taking the top off a palm tree.

Next door neighbor Jean Marie Sibert said she's never seen anything like it.

“I saw the flash and heard the loud noise at the exact same time and screamed because it was literally overhead," she said. "I thought our house was, in fact, hit."

Sibert said it was, literally, a hair-raising experience.

“I just felt as though I was electrically-charged, if that makes sense," she said. "Obviously not hit or anything, but you could just feel the static-y stuff in the air.”

Fortunately, there was little damage here and no one was injured, but firefighters said they've been busy all afternoon.

“This time of year the afternoon storms kick up and it's common to have multiple calls going on at once,” said Brevard County Fire Rescue District Chief Scott Gardiner, “but usually not to this extent.”

Gardiner said even with the pouring rain houses can easily catch fire if they're struck by lightning.

“Usually what happens is they strike the roof and they get all the insulation on fire or inside the attic, that's where the fire starts,” he said.

Firefighters say there's little anyone can do to keep lightning from striking their house.

If it happens, they say the most important thing is to call 911 as soon as possible.

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