Community member thankful for quick response of firefighters after home struck by lightning

Published: Oct. 15, 2022 at 8:51 PM MDT
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GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KKCO) - It’s fire prevention week, a time used by the fire department to educate the community on how to stay safe in case of a fire. Now, a homeowner is sharing her experience to warn the public about why it’s essential to have a fire emergency plan.

Jamie Dunn feels gratitude for the swift response from the Grand Junction Fire Department after lighting struck her home. “And so a lot of things could have gone differently that day,” said Dunn. “And fortunately, we were on the better end of it.”

On September 30, scattered thunderstorms made their way into the Grand Valley. “That day, in particular, was just really strange,” said Dunn. “Everything was amplified. It was like; it rained harder. It was like that deluge. You know, it was just a really strange day, and the thunder was louder, and the lightning was more intense. I guess it was just our day.”

Dunn said she and her husband were on high alert since they saw a lightning strike close to their home. But nothing prepared them for what came next. “It was just an unreal sound. I’ve never heard anything like it. I can’t even explain it.” She said she knew the lightning had hit their home.

“Within minutes, I could smell kind of an electrical burning smell. And then just minutes after that, we started seeing smoke coming out of our under cabinet lighting.”

Dunn said firefighters were at their door within minutes. “We did not have a plan. You know, we were kind of naive.”

“A lightning strike is an interesting phenomenon... that you don’t see very much,” said Chief Ken Watkins.

Chief Watkins said it’s important to have a fire escape plan. “We want them to exercise their, you know, escape plan, be able to get nowhere to get out of the house, have a meeting place that they would meet at, also make sure that your smoke detectors are operating.”

And that’s Jamie’s advice to have a plan in place because she said no one is exempt from emergencies. “I’ve always respected lightning, and I don’t want to say that I have a fear of it, but we look at it very, very differently.”

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