Lowcountry woman loses home after lightning strike sparks fire

Berkeley County News

HOLLY HILL, S.C. (WCBD) – As storms moved through the area over the 4th of July holiday, severe damage took place at several locations in Berkeley County.

In Holly Hill, Kathy Kimmel lost her home due to fire after it was struck by lightning.

Kimmel’s living room is simply devastation – and it’s more of the same throughout her home.

“I was across the road, saw the lightning strike and thought it was further over in the woods,” said Kimmel. “A few minutes later, someone said they saw smoke.”

She rushed to the home, knowing her 3-month-old puppy was inside.

“My son got here first. He broke down the front door and got the puppy out, but it was engulfed in flames when I got here.”

Most of the interior of the home is ashes.

“The way this looks, it struck right in here somewhere. It’s blown up. There was a fiberglass tub here and you can’t even see anything melted—it’s just not there. The faucets, everything is just destroyed. The closets, there’s nothing left in there.”

“It’s kind of surreal. You know, I look at it and I know what it was before. It’s just devastating and I’m thankful my dog is ok. If everything else burns, as long as he was alright, and I wasn’t injured in here either. It could have been a different turn of events.”

“I’m gonna be on the property in a camper until I can take my time and think about what I need to do. I know there’s bad weather all over the world now but, this is my piece of it.”

“God is good he blessed me. Even through this, he’s blessed me with safety for me. I got my dog out and then the firemen weren’t hurt, none of the friends who were helping weren’t hurt, and so I just think God—just thank Jesus.”

Kathy hopes to have a camper on site later this evening.

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