Lightning hit a house and sparked a fire that badly damaged the home on Chesopeian Trail early Tuesday. The fire raced through the attic and tore apart most of the roof.

The owners of the house are away, but a friend who was house sitting was inside when the lightning hit.

Neighbors told 13 News they heard the lightning hit, but didn't realize it had caused a fire until the woman staying at the house started knocking on doors yelling for help. Though she wasn't hurt, the woman was shaken up.

"She still is upset about it, she can't seem to get herself together and I imagine that's hard for her," said neighbor Annette Thompson.

Firefighters had their own set of challenges. Heavy rain, lightning, and a long narrow driveway made it impossible to get a truck close to the house. Firefighter Chief Michael Barakey explained lightning can be a tricky invader.

"It'll find a path, and a path could be anything from a cable box, to an electrical box, to an outlet."

The bolt of lightning was so loud that neighbors heard it instantly.

"It was just an awful boom, an awful boom, and it scared me and I thought that is so close," said Thompson.

Thompson is glad that their temporary neighbor is okay.

"I'm just so thankful that no one was hurt, I'm just so thankful because it could have been so much worse."

Neighbors say the homeowners are on vacation in California. They've been contacted and are on their way home.