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Lorena: Lightning rods installed on lightning-damaged house

(Photo by Ke'Sha Lopez)
(Photo by Ke'Sha Lopez)(KWTX)
Published: May. 4, 2016 at 6:12 PM CDT
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Workers were installing lightning rods Wednesday on house in Lorena that was heavily damaged in a fire ignited by lightning during a storm in May 2015.

Lightning struck the home last May, causing a water pipe to burst and smoke and flames to erupt.

The damage displaced the Mitchell family for about eight months.

Liza Mitchell, the mother of five children, said she was asleep when it happened.

She heard some extremely loud noises, grabbed her kids and got out of the house.

Mitchell says no one was injured, although a family pet, a cat, was killed.

The damage to the home was around $300,000.

The family moved back into the home in February after months of renovations, during which nearly everything was replaced.

Mitchell said having lightning rods installed gives her family a sense of security.

“My daughter, if she just saw a cloud in the sky she was like, ‘is it going to rain today?’ She was scared. It just changed the way they look at storms now. It’s scary.”

After basically rebuilding her home, Liza is not too crazy about have seven small copper rods sticking up out of her roof but she said she'd rather be safe than sorry.

She says the cost of the rods for her home was about $2,700.

Donohue Lightning Protection installed the rods Wednesday.

"Well if a storm is in the area you start building static,” owner Seamus Donohue said.

“Those lightning rods work in the same way as if you were to walk across (a) field and you feel the hair on your arm stand up. That's because you're building static. You are at target for lightning. If you get to the ground and it's dispersed that static, that lightning is going to go off to the next target- the neighbor's whether it's a tree or whatever. It's the same as lightning rods once you put those rods on it attracts static out of that house.”

According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, lightning strikes have killed 319 people over the last decade.