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Golf course worker hit by lightning in Lexington

Lexington firefighters cleared smoldering debris from a home which caught fire after it was struck by lightning.

Josh Reynolds for The Boston Globe

Lexington firefighters cleared smoldering debris from a home which caught fire after it was struck by lightning.

Rachel Britton was going for a run at Center Track in Lexington Wednesday morning when she saw a bolt of lightning mere miles away, followed almost immediately by roaring thunder.

“Of course, I left and called my husband on the way home, and he described the sound like a bomb going off,” Britton said in a telephone interview. “It was so close, the house shook.”

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When she reached her home on Tufts Road, Britton’s husband and two sons were walking toward a neighbor’s house where flames were quickly spreading from a corner of the roof.

“The people who live in the house were actually looking out of their window; they didn’t know their house was on fire,” Britton said. The family was beckoned to safety from their house.

Lexington firefighters responded to the fire at about 8:50 a.m., a few minutes after being called to help a person struck by a bolt of lightning at the Lexington Golf Club on Hill Street.

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The man is a maintenance worker at the course , and he was working on an electrical box when lightning struck, officials said.

“He felt a tingling go through his body, which we surmise was a surge in the system,” said Lexington Fire Chief John Wilson. “It was not a direct strike.”

The man, who was conscious and alert when firefighters arrived, was transported to an area hospital for treatment. He was later released.

The two-alarm house fire at 20 Tufts Road was knocked down shortly after 9:15 a.m. It caused up to $150,000 in damage to the attic of the house, Wilson said.

The family of three who live in the home were displaced, but they told firefighters they had another place to stay.

“I think they were hoping the damage wouldn’t be too bad, but obviously it was,” Britton said.

“We do have houses being struck by lightning all the time,” Wilson said. “Not every lightning storm produces a fire, but it’s not uncommon.”

Catalina Gaitan can be reached at Follow her on Twitter at @catalina_gaitan.
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