Lightning Blamed for Oxnard House Fire

Residents felt the force, saw the flames

The home was empty Friday night. Residents are staying with relatives. Neighbors say it's a story of lightning and luck, especially for a retiree with an affinity for video cameras.

"What amazed me is how quickly it consumed the garage," said Dan Pinedo, who saw the whole thing, and shared it with us.

The billowing flames; the plumes of smoke; it all happened while Pinedo was operating his video camera.

"Right as I got right here, I saw it right there," said Pinedo. "So I turned around and yelled to my wife, call 911, the house is on fire."

But Pinedo says, he came close to not having any of the video.

"It was simultaneous, the lightning and the thunder were right there," he said.

The wild Friday morning weather was what first brought the retired postal worker outside. But he wasn't expecting what came next.

"You saw the lightning and not even in a flash of a second you heard the loud sound so we jumped out of our seats," said neighbor Luis Vega.

"I  heard a big boom and looked across the street and saw the lightning hit the roof," said neighbor Paul Paxton.

The Oxnard Fire Department confirmed that lightning struck one of the vents on the roof of the garage and spread through the kitchen and attic.

"I went to the front of the house, turned on the faucet and grabbed the hose and came back around and went inside the garage," said Pinedo.

But it wasn't just the garage fire that concerned him.

"The gas can was right there so I went in and took it out and put it right there," he said.

Pinedo said he tried going back in, but a bystander pulled him back. That's when the flames fully engulfed the garage. 

Nobody was inside and there were no injuries.

The fire was out in 15 minutes. But Pinedo knows it was a close call. And his video proves it.

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