MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Pennsylvania (WPVI) — As powerful storms pushed through the Philadelphia region on Friday, there were reports of two homes being damaged by lightning strikes and two tornados touching down in the region.
In Schwenksville, Montgomery County, a home on Shire Lane caught fire during the storms. The owner said he heard a loud boom, the house shook and then he smelled smoke.
When he and his wife looked outside, they realized their home was on fire. They got their pets and went out into the rain.
Neighbors a few doors down heard the strike.
“We heard a really loud rumbling of thunder, then the lightning that struck. We heard a loud crack, and the house actually made a sizzling sound,” said Kim Kenworth.
Fire destroyed the roof and second floor of the home, and the first floor was left with water damage.
“Based on what the homeowners reported, we believe it was probably a lightning strike,” said Brian Debus, Chief of the Perkiomen Township Fire Department. “The Marshals are still investigating, they haven’t determined an official cause yet.”
Farther south in Abington, there was a similar story.
The windows of the top floor of a home were blown out after a lightning strike. The owner shared photos of damaged windows and some charring on the home.
“I didn’t think it was the house itself at first until I went upstairs and I could see,” said Jonathan Crossette, who owns the home.
Fire crews and an electrician checked out the home to make sure it was safe.
On Friday afternoon, the National Weather Service (NWS) confirmed an EF-0 tornado touched down in Pemberton Township, Burlington County.
Officials said the tornado had winds between 65 and 85 miles per hour.
The NWS also confirmed a second tornado struck West Caln Township in Chester County.
In a tweet, officials said the EF rating and completed details would be determined on Saturday.