According to Brazil Fire Chief Jake Bennett, because of the timing of the storm and the start of the fire, lightning may have struck a nearby tree and traveled onto the house -- located at 1416 Meridian St. -- or it may have hit the house itself.
"It started in the attic area of a two story home," Bennett said. "We had the crew get there and make an interior attack, and they had pulled the ceiling down to get to the attic space with the attic ladder off the truck. It was a tough fire to get to (because) the attic space was chopped up because of different roof lines."
Bennett said the fire was moving quickly in the attic, but firefighters were able to contain it and save the majority of the family's irreplaceable possessions from fire and water damage.
"It could have been worse," Bennett said. "But the family still sustained a loss; any time a family sustains that kind of loss it's traumatic."
He added there were no injuries because no one was home at the time of the fire.
Bennett said his department responded with three trucks to fight the fire.
"We responded with our initial engine and the second truck brought the water supply," Bennett said. "Then we had the ladder respond because it was a two story, but there were too many trees and power lines (to utilize the truck)."
He cited the quick response of his department -- including off-duty firefighters -- as the main reason the fire was kept under control.
"Most of our off-duty guys responded and they were there quickly," Bennett said. "That's what made the difference -- the man power ... there could have been a lot more damage and a lot larger loss."