Update (1:35 p.m.)—Anne Arundel County Fire Department Batallion Chief Steve Thompson said 20 firefighters responded to the house fire, and one firefighter was injured and treated at an area hospital. It took firefighters about three hours to fully contain the fire, Thompson said.
A bolt of lighting started a house fire at about 5 p.m. Wednesday in Arnold, just as a thunderstorm swept through Maryland.
Edward Thomas and his wife, Joyce, have lived in their home in the 800 block of Clifton Avenue in Arnold for more than 50 years.
He and his wife were downstairs cooking an early dinner when lightning struck the corner of their roof.
"There was a flash, and then what looked like fireworks," Thomas said. "I went out back to see what had happened and just saw sparks and flame."
Thomas then told his wife they had to get out of the house, and tracked down their dog to make a safe escape. He called 911 and soon more than six fire trucks lined Clifton Avenue dousing the flames with water, on top of the downpour of rain from the storm rolling through Maryland.
As firefighters continued to put out small flames upstairs, Thomas took a tour of the wreckage downstairs. Water from fire hoses had damaged his kitchen, which he said was recently refurbished.
"This was all new," he said. "There's thousands of dollars worth of stuff here, all water damaged and ruined."
Upstairs, Thomas said he had a miniature Christmas village, something "straight out of a Charles Dickens novel," which he had been amassing from various curios shops around the state.
I told him maybe it survived. He wasn't so hopeful.
For now, Thomas said he and his wife will be living out of his daughter's home in Cape St. Claire.