Wichita Fire Dept. reports sharp increase in lightning-related damage cases

WICHITA, Kan. The Wichita Fire Department says damage reports from lightning strikes have almost doubled since last year. For one Wichita woman this summer, the damage was devastating.

Inside Michelle Wendt's home, you'll find insulation all over her kitchen, couches and her floor. The damage was from a fire, ignited by a lightning strike in late July.

"There was a hole in my roof, a big hole in the roof," Wendt says. "There was like six inches of insulation all over everything I owned."

Wendt says she and her cat made it out safely that night, but they no longer had a place to call home. A neighbor took them in. She says she didn't know at first that her home was on fire until she went outside.

At the roof line, she could see fire.

The Wichita Fire Department says there were four reports of damage caused by lightning, but that number has almost doubled to seven reports so far this year.

Still picking up what's left inside her home, Wendt is thankful to have a new place to call home, but says it's not the same.