House fire in Leander reportedly caused by lightning

Homeowners in Leander spent the morning cleaning up after a lightning strike set the structure on fire Saturday.

Neighbors tell us they heard thunder and saw lightning at the same time and just a few minutes later the roof was covered in flames.
“It's just a freak thing I guess,” said Laura Bishop who lives just down the street.

Laura Bishop said she was watching the storm out of her window when she realized just how close it was to her neighborhood.

“I was actually looking outside and I saw lightning strike and I just turned to my family and said, ‘Wow, that was close,’ and had no idea that it struck anybody's house, until just a few minutes later I saw smoke,” Bishop said. 

Bishop said she walked outside and realized a home just down the street was on fire.

“Their house went up in flames so fast I had no idea. It was probably six minutes from the time I took a picture in my back yard, seeing just a little bit of smoke, six minutes later it was just up in flames,” said Bishop.

Luckily, during those six minutes someone happened to be nearby.

“Fortunately, a neighbor was coming home and she saw the smoke and so she ran up to the door and got them out and then ran to the neighbor's house and got them out, just in case, because the houses are kind of close together,”  said Bishop.

Every one inside the home was okay and firefighters got there just after Laura did.

“This is what happened in less than 30 minutes, it’s crazy,” Bishop said. 

Firefighters said the damage totals about $350-400,000. Luckily the people who live on Tabernash Drive in the Savanna Ranch subdivision are stepping up.

“I certainly want Paul and Joelle who live at this home to know their community supports them and we're here to help them,” said Bishop. 

Because Bishop and her neighbors realize just how close to hoe this storm hit.

“I mean it could have happened to any one of us I live down the street so my house could've just as easily been struck,” Bishop said.

Neighbors said the homeowners are still missing a cat that was inside when the fire started. They are hoping it made it out of the house and are asking neighbors to keep an eye out for a tiger cat named ‘Max’ that also goes by ‘Kitty.’

Neighbors have created a fundraiser page for the family here.

The homeowners did have insurance, but neighbors hope to help with expenses for food, clothing and temporary housing. The Red Cross is also working with the family to provide some necessities.