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Lightning sets fire to Kelowna home

It started as a normal night for Kelowna couple Dennis and Denise Campbell — the evening of Aug. 22 — then a portion of their home went up in flames.

They were just finishing up their dinner outside when they saw a storm begin to roll in and decided to go inside, that’s when things took a turn.

“We were just about to go sit down and play a game and we heard this huge crack, it was the loudest I’ve ever heard in my life. We actually jumped out of our skin,” Denise.

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Shortly after, the couple heard screaming and ran outside to see what happened. That’s when their neighbours yelled to them that their home was on fire.

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The couple quickly realized their chimney was struck by lightning, which sparked a fire at their gas meter, resulting in the side of their home being lit up with flames.

“We realized that we could get a crescent wrench and shut the gas lines off because the problem with the whole arrangement was the gas line had ruptured and the sparks from the chimney ignited the gas and now we had gas blowing up the side of our home,” said Dennis.

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Coincidentally, the same lightning strike that hit their home, appeared to be the same bolts seen in dramatic photos captured at Magic Estates during an Osoyoos couples engagement.

While there’s no way to prove if the exact lightning strike was the same one, it is likely, given how close Magic Estates is located to their home.

During the thunderstorm that night hundreds of lightning strikes hit their neighbourhood.

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“(The engagement) happened at about the same time, however when the fire department got here one of the first things the fireman said was that there had been approximately 500 lightning strikes within the last hour,” said Dennis.

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The fire department told them if they weren’t home, tending to the fire when they did, the chance of them losing their home of 38 years was highly likely.

“This could’ve been a lot worse,” said Denise.

The couple is now working to repair the damage their home sustained.

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