Resident witnessed lightning strike that burned down apartment b - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Resident witnessed lightning strike that burned down apartment building


One man who lives in the Waterford Plantation Apartments said he saw the lightning strike that started the fire in his building.

Fire officials said the building is a total loss, and now nearly 10 families must now start from scratch.

Alex Reid said he saw the lightning strike the building, but he didn't realized the building was on fire. He said he was standing outside when he saw a lightning bolt right over the complex, but he didn't think it hit anything.

His instinct was to go inside, but that's when he said it got really scary.

I went to my bedroom and laid down, and all of a sudden my roommate James said ‘Alex, there's smoke coming out of my air vent in here,'" said Reid.

That's when he said he realized that the lightning bolt had hit his apartment building. He and his roommates grabbed what they could get out of the building.

"Everything else, my bed, my clothes, this is my father's shirt. Everything is gone," he said.

Many people said the fire was very deceiving because it was spreading through the insulation, so there weren't a lot of flames, but the damage was overwhelming.

Newlyweds Rachel and Hayden Gabriel said they thought they had lost everything until a friend found her wedding drew while sorting through the rubble.

"He had gotten that, plus he pulled out wedding pictures for us and other things that he thought would mean a lot to us," they said.

This may be their first road block in their marriage, but like many tenants, their positive attitudes are fireproof.

"We'll make it," they said.

The apartment complex is helping the tenants find new places to live.

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