Smoke detector failed Wednesday when fire hit Carmel home

A fire enguls a home in the 14000 block of of Alderbrook Trail in Carmel.
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This morning's storms meant an early wake-up call for many people in Central Indiana.

But, the lightning hit too close to home for one family.

It struck a home in the 14000 block of Alderbrook Trail just off of 146th Street, east of Keystone Parkway in Carmel.

Eight people and two dogs were home at the time of the fire, and all got out unharmed.

The family had only lived in the home for two years and it was a new build.

During this morning's thunderstorms around 6 a.m., the family heard what they described as the loudest boom ever.

"We believe that it was a lightning strike to this residence," said Bruce Knott with the Carmel Fire Department. "It woke them all up. They got up and noticed their doorbell continued to ring — malfunctioning. They got up and found a way to disconnect it.

"(Then) they started smelling smoke, looked outside and realized what happened."

According to the fire marshal, none of the homes in the subdivision — including this one hit by lightning — had a lightning rod or any type of home lightning protection.

"We've had everything from, 'Lightning rods are great, to lightning rods don't work,'" Knott said. "We've also heard that sometimes the drier, flat areas in the ground can get so dry enough to where it also has a hindrance to lightning protection."

The family said the smoke detector did not go off to give them that early warning that something was wrong.

"We do recommend that if you're in a lightning prone area that you consider at least putting a heat detector in your attic area," Knott said. "If there is a certain amount of rise in temperature in a short amount of time, the heat detectors will notice that and they'll go off also."

Fire crews have cleared the area as a new round of rain moves in.

Now, the cleanup begins as the family starts to rebuild.