Updated 06/19/14 – 11:11 a.m.
(CBS) — A lightning strike injured three firefighters attempting to put out a house fire Wednesday evening in unincorporated DuPage County, near Wheaton. At least three other homes in the suburbs were damaged by lightning during Wednesday’s storms.
CBS 2’s Mike Parker reports the fire caused extensive damage to a home at Durfee and Seneca near Wheaton after hitting the roof around 7:30 p.m.
A Warrenville Fire Protection District spokesman said the first units called to the scene found a fire in the attic.
The family who lives in the home was not injured, although they were astonished by the impact.
However, three firefighters were slightly hurt when they suffered minor electric shocks, either from exposed wiring at the home, or possibly a small secondary lightning strike.
Warrenville Fire Protection District Chief Dennis Rogers said, at the time, the firefighters were up on the roof, ventilating the home.
“We’re not sure where the contact came from. We assume an open electrical line. They experienced numbness within their chests and their arms,” he said.
Paramedics transported the three firefighters to Central DuPage Hospital, where they were being held overnight for observation.
Joan Hadraba, who lives across the street, said the lightning strike was very loud, and very scary.
“I knew it was very close, and then I started to smell smoke, and I thought maybe it was my house,” she told WBBM Newsradio’s Bernie Tafoya.
Hadraba said another house on the block was hit by lightning some time ago, and now she’s thinking about putting up a lightning rod.
“I saved one. I have one in my kitchen from a corn crib that burned down,” she said. “I think I might have to take that out, and put it up on top of the house.”