South Fargo home struck by lightning, while neighbor feels the jolt

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FARGO, N.D. (Valley News Live) - If you got caught in the pouring rain Monday, that wasn't the worst of it. A South Fargo resident caught a flash of lightning on camera—right next door to a garage fire.

Hannah LeTexier says she saw lightning around 11:35 a.m.—and felt a shock go through her fingers.

"Like a huge flash burst and then I got shocked and we all screamed," said LeTexier.

There’s a saying: lightning never strikes the same place twice—but the Fargo Fire Department says it struck one South Fargo home, where a garage fire started—while shocking next-door neighbors, literally and figuratively.

“We were just taken back from, you know, how close it is to us,” LeTexier’s husband, Chris, says. “How it affected one of our neighbors."

Chris LeTexier says the flash of lightning took out his very camera that caught it on video, as well as his garage door opener.

Fargo Fire Department’s battalion chief, Dane Carley, says investigators are looking at a possible electrical issue along with the lightning.

"Even with a surge protector there still would have been a fire,” he says, “because of the way it seems the lightning followed the wiring through the house."

And while the main fire was put out within about 10 minutes in the morning, Carley says Fargo Fire waited for the electric company to arrive to turn off the electric meter around 3 p.m. so firefighters could fully extinguish the meter area without being electrocuted.

Carley says only one residence in the twin home was affected.

"We ended up finding nobody inside,” Carley says, “the fire was contained to a space in the garage that's near the electrical meter.”

"Happy that no one was injured and everybody was safe," Chris LeTexier, says.

"So thankful,” his wife, Hannah, says, “I know she usually works from home so to see that nobody was there—we were really scared."

Carley says the garage fire is still under investigation and could take weeks to look into. The fire department says the cost of the damage is estimated to be about $20,000.