Lightning fire displaces couple; cat missing

LAWRENCEVILLE - A Lawrenceville couple was displaced from their home Wednesday night after lightning struck their house.

Gwinnett County Fire Department spokesman Lt. Thomas Rutledge said the home was engulfed in flames when firefighters arrived at the home on Paden Mill Trail shortly after 10 p.m.

Rutledge said a male resident escaped unharmed after neighbors alerted the man his home was on fire.

"It was a husband and wife that lived in the home. The husband was the only one home at the time. He said the power went off and the TV went off and came back on then back off. He thought lightning had struck a tree behind the house," Rutledge said. "He didn't know the home was on fire until neighbors saw smoke and flames and alerted him."

The man tried to douse the flames with a garden hose before the Fire Department arrived but was unable to keep the fire from spreading.

Rutledge said fire burned off a portion of the roof, and flames and heat gutted much of the second floor of the residence.

The homeowners' two cats were believed to be inside the home at the time of the fire. One of the cats was located outside unharmed, Rutledge said. The second cat was unaccounted for as of press time Thursday.