Neighbors recall close call after fire sparks in palm tree near home

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Mother nature made her presence felt the past few days when rain made for slick roads across the valley, but it was thunder and lightning that caught the attention of everyone.

Especially, those living in a neighborhood near Buffalo and Vegas Drive.  A tree was struck by lightning sparking a fire.

The homeowner wasn’t home when it happened.  The owner has security cameras around his house, so he showed us the surveillance video from when it happened.

“Mother nature is very wicked,” said Donald Olson.

Olsen’s neighbor, Paulette Hedges, says she was in her home Tuesday afternoon when all of a sudden she heard a lot of screaming.

“I had the front door open, and I heard the kids running home from school, and they were all running, and I thought ‘well, maybe it’s raining,’ and then they are going ‘fire, fire!’ “The palm tree was on fire,” Hedges said.

Paulette says she’s lived in Las Vegas since 1975 and Has never seen anything like that.

“There are a lot of neighbors that came out to help, and they were trying to put the fire out, but the firemen got here pretty quick, so it was chaotic, but I don’t know what I would have done if it would have been my house,” Hedges said.

The fire started at the top of the palm tree in front of Olsen’s house before it started to spread.

“The smell of the fire — it was all through my house; I had all the doors open, but it was the sound that scared me so much,” said Hedges.

Olsen was out of town when the fire sparked, so he learned about the fire from strangers.

“My security company called, and the fire department saying my house was hit by lightning,” said Olson.

Sally Jamarillo, Reporter: “What was your first reaction?
Olson: “I never heard of lightning hitting a house.”

The misfortune knocked out the electrical panel and gas line, but despite the damage, Olson remains positive.

“Oh I’m happy,” he said. “It’s good that you have insurance because if you don’t have insurance I mean this is going to cost a fortune.”

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