Lightning strike causes apartment fire in Petal

Lightning strike causes apartment fire in Petal

PETAL, MS (WDAM) - Officials say a lightning strike caused an apartment fire in Petal Sunday as severe weather moved through the Pine Belt.

Residents told WDAM 7 the fire started around 12:30 p.m. after a lightning strike hit a nearby pine tree.  Chalren Badon was in her first floor apartment with the lightning hit.

"It was like a loud clash of thunder and bright flash of lighting, and it was over," Badon said.  "I tried to turn on the TV, but it wouldn't come on. So by me being a diabetic, I started feeling bad, so I had to get me something to eat. I smelt the smoke in the utility room, I came outside to look and that's when I saw the smoke coming out of the ceiling."

Officials with the Petal Fire Department said the spark from the lightning "jumped" to the roof of the building, burning the electrical wires for the apartments.  There are four units in the building.  Renters said the individuals who rent the second-floor apartment were not home at the time.

No injuries were reported.  Most of the damage was to the second-floor apartment closest to the tree where the lightning struck.

Residents were allowed back into the building to retrieve some of their belongings, but told WDAM 7 they were not allowed to stay there until the electrical wires could be repaired.