Lightning suspected in Hamilton, Hendricks County house fires

14000 block of Alderbrook Trail in Carmel
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Lightning strikes are the suspected cause of several house fires across central Indiana this morning.

A home in the Sun Chase subdivision in Avon near 100 South and Ronald Reagan Parkway was engulfed in flames a little after 10 a.m.

Firefighters from Plainfield and other departments had to respond due to the overwhelming amount of fire runs in the past 24 hours.

The home is believed to be a loss and neighboring homes suffered minor damage, mainly melted siding.

A teenage girl was sleeping inside the home at the time of the fire.

Neighbors heard the boom and saw the flames and came rushing to help, including a group of men who threw a brick into the home to get inside and check to see if there was anyone in the home.

"Another guy helped us out and we had to bust the window out," said Sabastian Hardimon, a neighbor. "We went inside and there was a girl in the room upstairs. She was asleep and we opened the door and got her out, came downstairs and got out of the house as quick as possible."

The girl was not injured.

It is believed the fire started in the attic of the home and then quickly spread.

"We were inside and all of a sudden my niece was looking out the window," said Carrie Wrenn, a neighbor. "It was just bright light and crazy loud crashing noise, and next thing I knew I heard the fire trucks."

The mother told firefighters that she has insurance and will be working with her insurance agent.

Firefighters in Hamilton County are checking to see if lightning from this morning's storm is responsible for starting at least three fires.

Chopper 13 HD flew over the 14000 block of Alderbrook Trail in Carmel, where the roof and most of the second floor was heavily damaged by fire. Firefighters in Fishers also battled a fire at a home in the 14000 block of Christie Ann Drive.

Also, a home in the Strathaven addition near 146th and Hazel Dell in Noblesville was also damaged by fire this morning. Indianapolis Fire Department crews were checking out apartment fires near 86th and Allisonville Road and also at Keystone and 71st St.

As firefighters rolled up their hoses from Wednesday's fires, their attention turned to prevention.

"We've been really concerned about what's the best advice to give everybody," said Carmel Fire Marshal Bruce Knott

It turns out, there isn't a clear answer.

"Unfortunately, we cannot find an exact answer to whether the old fashioned lightning rods are the way to go or not the way to go," Knott said.

He says knowing early that your home has been struck is key, since most lightning fires take off in the attic.

Heat-sensing fire detectors can be wired into your existing alarm system.

"The rate of rise heat detector, those detectors will actually sense if the heat goes up a certain number of degrees in a short amount of time," Knott said.