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Lightning Strike Apparent Cause of Putnam Fire

Reported by: Send eMail Katelyn Sykes, Kaylin Searles
Reported: Jul. 14, 2014 4:20 AM EDT
Updated: Jul. 14, 2014 1:04 PM EDT

Putnam House Fire
Eyewitness News Photo

Winfield , Putnam County , West Virginia

Members of a Putnam County family left homeless after a fire destroyed their 6,000-square-foot home early Monday morning said they plan on rebuilding.

"It's very hard to see your house that we had totally just redone and to see it in shambles and collapse," homeowner Pam Istrate said. "It was very hard."

Fire officials think lightning struck the home and started a fire in the attic. The blaze quickly spread throughout the home, burning it to the ground.

"Everything can be replaced and we thank you to God that we're all OK, but now it's just that aftermath of thinking, 'OK, where are we going to stay? How long is it going to take us to rebuild?' " Istrate said.

Istrate said she heard smoke detectors going off about 3 a.m. Family members got up to see smoke quickly filling up their home. The couple grabbed their 7-year-old son and got outside.

Homeowner Mihai Istrate said they tried to save "what we can, but we didn't save nothing."

"I got maybe two photo albums, I don't even know what they are of. I just grabbed them and went back to try to get more," Pam said.

The smoke was too intense and they weren't able to get back inside. Nine fire departments hauled water to the scene but a slip on Rocky Step Road caused delays. Supplying water to the scene also caused issues and 40,000 gallons of water couldn't save the house.

"They tried," Mihai said. "They tried to do the best that they can and we are appreciative and we thank them for doing what they did and they fought in the middle of the night the fire but it was a big fire."

The couple plans on rebuilding their home. Right now they're staying at a hotel and waiting to find out what they're insurance company says.

Firefighters believe that a lightning strike is responsible for the fire that destroyed a home in Putnam County early Monday morning.

The 7,000-square-foot home, including the garage, caught ablaze about 3 a.m. Firefighters said by the time they were able to reach the Winfield home, it was engulfed in flames.

Nine fire crews responded to the call. Firefighters said they had trouble reaching the home since it is located at the end of a gravel road. They also said they had trouble accessing water to put the flames out.

Fire crews fought the flames for about five hours.

More than 40,000 gallons of water were used to fight the flames, which are still dying out.

There were people in the home, but they got out safely.

A house is destroyed after an early morning fire in Putnam County.

Firefighters responded to a call about 3:30 a.m. Monday at a residence on Blue Lick Road in Winfield.

Multiple fire crews are at the scene still fighting the blaze.

The residence is located at the end of a gravel road and firefighters said it was hard getting access to the home and to water to put the flames out.

No word on what started the fire as of now. Eyewitness News will keep you updated on all the latest details.

Fire crews are currently on the scene of a house fire in Putnam County.

It happened about 3:30 a.m. Monday at a home on Blue Lick Road in Winfield. Putnam County 911 officials said the call came in as a working fire. There were people inside the home at the time, but everyone made it out safely.

No word on what started the fire or how much damage it did to the home.

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