Fire Marshal: Lightning started deadly South Lubbock house fire

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Updated: 8/25/2012 11:03 pm
The Lubbock Fire Marshal's office is investigating an overnight deadly house fire. Firefighters responded to house at 3905 110th Street.  

A rep with the Lubbock Fire Marshals office said around 11 p.m. Friday a house was struck by lightning, which sparked an attic fire.

Homeowner, Ross Rushing, and his visiting friend Brennen Teel noticed smoke from inside the home. 
 
The two men opened the attic to investigate, that's when the fire backdrafted, causing an explosion.

Both individuals were transported to UMC. Teel was pronounced dead at the hospital. 

Lubbock Assistant Fire Marshall Elliot Eldredge said a lightning fire is not uncommon.

"It is fairly common to catch on fire, but it generally doesn't spread this fast," he said. What we are seeing now is houses with some issues that have stainless steel tubing that gets breeched during a lightning strike, and then you have natural gas fire in the attic."

The home was insured. The residents are staying with other family members. The attic is destroyed, the living sustained smoke damage.
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