Lightning strikes cause two fires in a week
Caroline Lambrecht wasn't a fan of storms to start with, so when lightning hit her Rosemount home around 8 a.m. July 9, it was about the worst thing that could have happened to the Rosemount Middle School sixth grader.
Lambrecht was home alone at the time. She was in bed watching television when the bolt hit.
"When it struck, it sounded like about three bombs went off," she said. "I froze, pretty much. It was just not really fun."
The power went out. The TV started sparking. Caroline called her mom in tears, asked her to come home, then got dressed.
That's when she smelled smoke. The lightning strike had started a fire in the home's basement and kitchen. Caroline called her mom again, then grabbed the family's cat, Bella, and dog, Jazzy, and made for a neighbor's house.
She knew what to do, she said, because she had been to the city's annual summer safety camp just a few weeks before.
"They taught us to stay calm, which I wasn't, but I knew what to do," she said.
Firefighters and police officers were at the Lambrecht home by the time Caroline's mother, Susan, got back. The home's basement is destroyed and the kitchen received serious damage. The family will be out of the house for two months or more. Nobody was injured in the fire.
Caroline has been a regular for years at the city's safety camp. The summer event features lessons on bike safety and first aid as well as how to handle fires. The idea, Rosemount police officer Beth Richtsmeier said, is to prepare kids to be on their own for the summer.
This year, Caroline thought maybe she was too old to attend the camp. Her mom insisted, though, and now Caroline is glad she went.
"Everyone said she was just such a cute little character, because she was so proud of what she learned at safety camp," Richtsmeier said. "She didn't know exactly what happened, but she knew to call mom, grab the pets and run across the street to the neighbors."
The July 9 fire was one of several in Rosemount this summer - and one of two in just the past 10 days - believed to have been caused by lightning strikes.
A lightning strike during Saturday morning's storms is believed to have started a fire that did significant damage to a fourplex on Cornell Tr.
Lightning-related fires destroyed one home and did damage to another in the Evermoor neighborhood June 21.