HOWELL, N.J. (CBS 2) — Don Kerr and his family woke up Sunday to a jolt and a fire. It’s believed a lightning bolt struck their Howell home.

“I was in bed getting ready to get up and I heard like a bomb go off. I ran downstairs, my wife says she saw lighting come through the living room,” Don Kerr told CBS 2’s Ann Mercogliano.

“I ran downstairs after I saw the smoke, grabbed my daughter, her friend was sleeping over, my other daughter, just screamed, yelled ‘get out of the house, fire’,” he said.

Firefighters from a number of surrounding towns were dispatched to help fight the blaze.

“It was a hard fire to put out. There was a lot of the staircases gave us difficulty to wind the hose up to the third floor,” said Michael Kortenhaus of the Squankum Fire Department.

Kerr spent the day surveying the damage in disbelief. Everyone managed to get out safely, he says, except the family bird that perished in the blaze.

“It would have been a fourth trip upstairs. I didn’t think it was a good idea to keep going up,” he said.

The Sunday storm may have left one family without a home, but the Kerr family is thankful to have each other. Don, his wife and kids are staying with family until their home can be repaired.

The Howell Fire Bureau is investigating.

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Comments (3)
  1. Barbara Newmier O'Toole says:

    Don and family
    Thanks to God that you are all OK. My prayers are with all of you. I am a friend of your mother’s from the first grade in Leonardo.

  2. Vivian Marmulstein Segalq says:

    So thankful that you and your family and friend were spared in this attach from natire./ I’m a friend of you your Mother from H.S. Living in Fl. we expect ligihtening like this, but not up North. Weather patterns have certain changed alot. My prayer and thoughts are with you and your family.

  3. Bernie Sanders says:


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