A lightning strike during Tuesday night's storm sparked the blaze that burned through much of a house in The Homestead subdivision in Frankfort. No one was injured, and workers were even able to save the home owners' cat from the fire.
The fire, which started when lightning struck the chimney of the house in the 22500 block of Home Court, destroyed half of the roof as well as the upstairs, said Frankfort Fire Battalion Chief Paul Kelch. The rest of the house suffered extensive water and smoke damage, he added.
The home onwers, Rich and Kathleen Wierzbicki, were in Colorado and are returning home Wednesday after hearing about the fire. Their cat, Willow, was found hiding behind a curtain, said neighbor Susan Anstett.
"That was the best news when they walked out with the cat," she said, adding that the pet was currently with a local veternarian.
Anstett said she heard the lightning hit the house around 11 p.m., but she didn't notice the fire until an off-duty firefighter who saw the burning house knocked on her door about 45 minutes later.
Fire crews responded to the blaze around midnight, and it took about three hours to get the fire under control, Kelch said.
Damage from the fire was kept to the Wierzbickis property, but firefighters did ask Anstett and other next door neighbors to evacuate their homes while the blaze was being put out.
The Homestead fire was one of many in the Chicago suburbs caused by lightning from last night's storm, .
Fire officials returned to the scene Wednesday morning to help workers board up the house, as well as take care of "hot spots" and smoke areas that still remained, Kelch said.