Investigators said that lighting strikes were to blame for two structure fires Thursday evening.
The Union County Sheriff's Office said that a fire began at a resident's home after lightning struck the house, located in the 14000 block of State Rd. in Ostrander.
Barbara Seciliot and her husband built the home and called it their dream home. They watched as it went up in flames.
"When I got here, I could see the smoke about a half mile away," Seciliot said.
The home was equipped with several lightning rods to prevent a lightning strike.
"It just hit in a position where they couldn't do what they're supposed to do," Jerome Township Chief Scott Skeldon said.
A short time later, a north Columbus apartment building, located along Tamarack Boulevard, caught fire.
Smoke poured from the vacant building while firefighters worked to knock down the flames.
"(We) arrived, the fire was already coming through the roof," said Craig Mosley, of the Columbus Division of Fire. "This was towards the end of the storm, so we had a lot of companies that were out
on this road already."
Though the properties were heavily damaged, many were thankful that no one was injured.
"People are important, and not things," said Seciliot. "I have to maintain that thought, and we're okay."
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