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Lightning Strikes Damage Two Homes Overnight

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Firefighters at the scene of a fire caused by lightning in Darien. (Credit; Bernie Tafoya/WBBM Newsradio)

Firefighters at the scene of a fire caused by lightning in Darien. (Credit; Bernie Tafoya/WBBM Newsradio)

CHICAGO (CBS) – At least two homes in the Chicago area were struck by lightning overnight as heavy thunderstorms plowed through the region.

CBS 2’s Susanna Song reports strong winds, heavy rain, thunder, and lightning made for a very disruptive night in the Chicago area.

Early Tuesday, the Cook County Board Up service was in the Little Village neighborhood, where at least one home was struck by lightning overnight.

Chicago firefighters said lightning struck the rear of a home in the 2700 block of South Central Park Avenue, sparking a fire in the attic. When firefighters arrived, thick smoke and flames were pouring from the attic.

The family that lived there was forced out, and watched as firefighters attacked the fire.

One neighbor witnessed the whole thing.

“What I saw, it was lightning, and a couple of shots,” Arturo Delgado said. “One, first, it was small, but the second one, it hit so hard, and when I came out, my family was running out of the house. It was so hard, I mean it got me out of my couch.”

Fire officials said the family would not be allowed back inside the home for at least a few days.

Another home in southwest suburban Darien also was struck by lightning overnight, leaving a hole in the roof.

Flames spread quickly after the lightning strike, and Darien firefighters had to climb ladders to get to the attic of the home in the 1300 block of Darien Path Way.

Two homes in a four-unit townhouse complex were damaged in the fire.

“We heard this enormous sound, this lightning and thunder. The thunder was just frightening, and all of a sudden we lost power, and I seen all these fire trucks,” resident Peter Caruso said.

Darien-Woodridge Fire Protection District Director Robert Morris said, because the four townhomes are connected, “the concern is that if we get a working fire in one unit, it can certainly travel across and get into the other three units.”

Morris said there also was some concern for the safety of firefighters who needed to climb ladders during the storm to help put out the flames.

“The slippability, if you will, the traction; they have to work a little bit more cautiously in this kind of weather to protect themselves,” he said.

In spite of all those dangers, no one was injured in either lightning strike.

The storms also knocked out power to thousands of homes and businesses across the Chicago area. ComEd said a total of 25,000 customers were affected by the storm.

As of 6 a.m., approximately 3,000 ComEd customers were without power. Approximately 950 of them were in Chicago; 1,400 were in the south suburbs; 600 were in the north suburbs; and 150 were in the west suburbs.

There was a potential for more thunderstorms during the day on Tuesday and Wednesday, particularly in the afternoon.

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