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Family escapes house fire after lightning strike during Monday night’s windstorm


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Kay Hall and her two kids escaped from their Idaho Falls home after a lightning-caused fire Monday night. | Courtesy Kay Hall

IDAHO FALLS – People across eastern Idaho experienced varying degrees of damage after Monday night’s wind storm, but for one Idaho Falls woman it was particularly harrowing.

Kay Hall tells she was putting her kids to bed around 9:15 p.m. when she heard a loud bang. Lightning had struck her house, causing two explosions that lit a tree on fire and two transformer boxes in the back of the house.

“The transformer boxes were (arcing) sending electric sparks. You could watch it go back and forth to each box,” Hall says. “We could feel a vibration current underneath our feet and we could hear it humming. My son had a ringing in his ears because it was that loud.”

After the initial explosion, a wire from the power line fell down and hit the tree and the flames quickly spread across the yard to the front door.

“We were pretty scared. I called for help and I was kind of nervous when I opened my front door and it was on fire,” Hall says.

Hall grabbed her kids and booked it out the back door and waited in her car until the fire department arrived.

Firefighters arrived about 9:30 and quickly extinguished the flames. No one was hurt, but some fire damage to Hall’s home and property remains. Hall says some personal items were damaged in addition to her home.

Courtesy Kay Hall

“Some electronic appliances got fried — my stove, my fireplace, TV and a couple knick-knacks,” says Hall.

Hall isn’t sure what the total cost in damages was, but insurance will likely take care of it. After spending the night in a motel, she is happy to now be back in her own house.

She says the situation could have been much worse and she is grateful to the Idaho Falls Fire Department for responding so quickly.

“I took them (my kids) out to get some food and my son said he couldn’t go inside because he didn’t put his shoes on. I had to go back and get some shoes,” says Hall. “If there’s another lightning or thunderstorm (anytime soon), I think we might be a little scared … but we’re good.”