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Suspected lightning fire destroys acreage home near Beaumont

Click to play video: 'Lightning suspected to be cause of fire that burned down home near Beaumont'
Lightning suspected to be cause of fire that burned down home near Beaumont
WATCH ABOVE: Severe weather on Thursday night may be to blame for a fire that destroyed a home near Beaumont. Albert Delitala reports – Jul 20, 2018

An acreage home south of Edmonton in Leduc County was destroyed by fire Thursday night.

Fire officials believe the massive blaze was caused by a lightning strike. There were thunderstorms in the Edmonton area Thursday evening.

Firefighters were called at around 9 p.m. to an acreage on Wild Rose Drive, located just off Range Road 234 and Township Road 505, about five kilometres east of Beaumont.

Dean Fiveland, who owned the home with his wife, told Global News that he and his 11-year-old son had just returned home from baseball practice before a storm rolled in.

“We threw the ball around in the backyard a little bit and then saw the lightning, the storm rolling in,” Fiveland said on Friday. Then his son went to his room and Fiveland and his wife were watching a movie when the thunder and lightning startled him.

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“We, all of a sudden, heard a crash and… it sounded really close,” he said. “Really close.”

Fiveland checked lights around the house and noticed some were flickering and then saw smoke billowing out of the garage roof.

“From that point on it moved pretty quick. We grabbed what we could and phoned 911 and got out of the house.”

The house was gutted by the flames. Everyone inside the home was able to make it out safely and Fiveland said his 13-year-old daughter was safe at a friend’s house.

There’s no word on a damage estimate and Fiveland said he still had to speak to insurance investigators but that the loss will hit the family hard either way.

“We basically contracted and built this house ourselves and have continued to develop it over the past decade. There’s a lot of sweat equity in there that you’ll never get back so that’s kind of the sad part.”

Fiveland said his family has enjoyed living at the lot they have but that it’s too soon to think about whether he’ll rebuild. He added he’s just grateful everyone got out of the home safely.

“If this would have happened at 2 a.m., the way the fire spread through the… attic area — how often do you roll over after a big crack of thunder in the middle of the night? I was just glad that we were awake.”

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