It was Tuesday before Evans Omete got the first good look at what a fire did to his home.
"After 10 years who could think that out of the millions of houses, my house got struck with lightning." said Omete.
What the fire didn't touch, water and smoke did. Most of the house and its contents are destroyed.
"My boys, this is the only place they have known. It's amazing to find out one morning, they don't have a home," said Omete.
Lightning hit the home Saturday morning, just before the family left for church.
"I told my son to open the garage door to get the car, and he said 'Daddy, fire in the garage," said Omete.
The family never knew what hit them and say they didn't hear the boom that went with the lightning bolt that struck their home. The fire deparment says lightning hit the garage and smoldered.
"The first arriving units from fire department found the garage was pretty fully involved," said Chief Ken Prillaman. In addition to Brooklyn Park, crews from Anoka-Champlin, Maple Grove, West Metro Fire, Osseo and Brooklyn Center assisted in extinguishing the two-alarm fire.
The fire spread through the eaves and attic and burned so hot it scorched the house next door. As crews worked to get the flames under control, Omete, his wife and two boys watched.
"The fire was overwhelming, so I couldn't do anything other than stand there and helplessly watch to see my house disappear," said Omete.
As Evans Omete sifts through what's left of ten years of life here, he's more thankful than ever for what he took out of his house with him.
"Our lives are more precious than these world treasures," said Omete.
Omete and his family are staying at a hotel while clean–up is underway.
New Hope Fire
Crews also responded to a minor fire here on Winnetka Avenue in New Hope Saturday morning. Lightning struck the side of a house, sparking a small fire that burned off some of the siding. A passerby alerted the family inside about the fire.
Fire officials say a home in Rogers was also damaged by a lightning strike.
Shannon Slatton, reporting
Tuesday, May 29, 2012