Novi family escapes home after lightning starts fire

A Novi family lost every possession they owned after a fire that officials believe was caused by lightning claimed their home.

Just before 5 a.m. Tuesday, the 911 calls started coming in, reporting a house fire on Fordway Drive. The homeowner called and reported the flames and smoke on the roof. Thankfully, everyone got out safely before firefighters pulled up to the scene.

"The entire roof section was involved in fire and very extensive," Novi Director of EMS/Fire Operations Jeffrey Johnson said.

Johnson says a husband and wife were inside with their 8-year old daughter and 8-month old son were able to escape. However, he says they didn't realize what was happening right away.

They heard something, smelled smoke, but couldn't find anything inside the home. That's because the fire was burning the roof of the home.

An alert neighbor told them what was happening and told them the roof was burning.

Judy Chen lives nearby and said the sound of the storm as it passed over the area was intense.

"It's like somebody throw a bomb inside my house and it's really scary," Chen said. So I just woke up and checked my kids [to] make sure they're fine

Thankfully for Chen, it was all okay. But the family behind her are now staying elsewhere.

"It could happen anytime, that's where you have to be alert," Johnson said. "If you hear something, smell something, just call us [and] we'll come out and check it out."