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Lightning strike sets fire to Farmington home

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Lightning strike sets fire to Farmington home
Rosemount Minnesota P.O. Box 192 / 312 Oak St. 55024

A Farmington man got a rude awakening Wednesday morning after lighting struck and set his house on fire.

Terry Nutter had worked a night shift and was asleep around 10 a.m. in his home on the 500 block of Lower Heritage Way. A loud clap of thunder woke him briefly, but he fell back to sleep.

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His dog, however, was wide awake and roused Nutter from his slumber. He was still a little groggy, he said, until he noticed his bedroom window was on fire.

Nutter tried to call 911 from his landline, but the phone was dead. He pulled on clothes, got out of the house, used his cell phone to make the emergency call, then grabbed his garden hose.

A couple of neighbors got their garden hoses and helped Nutter. The Farmington Fire Department responded, with Lakeville firefighters assisting.

Fire marshal John Powers confirmed that the blaze was due to a lightning strike. Lightning struck two trees in Nutter's yard, killing one squirrel. The current then connected to the underground electrical lines, following the path into the Nutter house, Powers said.

"I haven't been in to see the damage yet," Nutter said while firefighters cleared his home. "All I know is there's a big hole in my bedroom ceiling."

At the time of the fire, Nutter's wife, Lisa, was working. She came home after receiving notice of the fire. Nutter and his dog were able to get out of the house, though he was unable to find the family's two cats.

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