Lightning strike destroys upstairs of Belton family home

Published: Aug. 31, 2022 at 6:31 PM CDT
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BELTON, Texas (KWTX) - The Hutton family is now left with almost nothing after yesterday’s thunderstorms. A fire started from a lightning strike, destroying most of the family’s clothes and toys.

What’s now left is memories, toys and clothes, covered in ashes and surrounded by small pieces of drywall. The smell still lingers in the home even 24 hours later. It’s a smoky, burning plastic smell that makes your chest feel heavy. And a reminder of a painful memory.

Toys like this teddy bear are now covered in ash and surrounded by drywall pieces after the...
Toys like this teddy bear are now covered in ash and surrounded by drywall pieces after the fire from the lightning strike.(Alex Fulton)

Rachel Hutton remembers the text from her husband, who was sleeping downstairs when the flames started.

“All I got out of the phone call was lightning, house on fire, me and the dogs are safe,” she said.

The fire started after a lightning strike hit the upstairs AC unit in the attic. The unit caught on fire and the flames spread through the vents in all the upstairs rooms, including all the kids’ bedrooms.

No one was hurt, but now there’s a different kind of pain.

“We built this house,” she said. “It took 15 months to build from beginning to end. We’ve been here for 6 months.”

The Hutton family is now temporarily living with a neighbor, but where they go next is uncertain.

“I don’t know where we’re going to live,” Rachel said. “I don’t know how we’re going to get the kids to school.”

One thing’s for certain though, it’s all a memory they won’t ever forget.

“What are we going to do?” Rachel said. “How are we going to get through this? It’s just an overwhelming amount of feelings.”

Neighbor and friend Natalie Calice has set up a Meal Train to provide warm meals to the family over the next few weeks.

Calice is also asking for toy and clothes donations. Son, Lucas, wears 5T clothes, youngest daughter, Carter, wears 12M clothes and oldest daughter, Maddie, wears 10/12 clothes. To donate these items email Calice at

Another friend has set up a GoFundMe to collect donations for the family.