D’IBERVILLE, Miss. (WLOX) - Severe storms Saturday morning left one family temporarily without a home. Officials said a lightning strike caused a fire that severely damaged their house in D’Iberville. Fortunately, no one was at home, and no animals were injured, but the images won’t soon be forgotten.
Crystal Baca was at work when lightning struck her house during a storm system that drilled through South Mississippi Saturday morning. When she arrived on her street minutes later, she saw flames shooting into the sky.
“I just held on to whatever fireman came up to me first,” said Baca. “And I just burst out crying because I had no clue what to do, what to feel, how to act. I just held on to him for a minute or two until he told me to calm down and it was going to be okay”
Her daughter, Kayla Blackmon, lives in the room right where the bolt apparently hit.
“I have a 3-month-old son,” said Blackmon. “And, if I hadn’t stayed at my friend’s house last night, it could have been bad.”
The outside damage belies what’s inside.
“Everything’s going to be destroyed,” Baca said. “Either from the fire upstairs or the water that they put on to put the fire out is all downstairs.”
It took just minutes to take away years of work to build, But Blackmon was able to save some precious memories. The most precious among them, a picture of her dad’s mother.
“I know how much he misses her,” she said as she pulled out the picture. “I miss her too, even though I never got to meet her.”
Baca added “It’s just devastating. I’ve never been through something of this nature, and lost so much in a matter of minutes.”
Baca said that her neighbors and friends have already been a big help.
“I’ve had plenty of friends offer me places to stay with them,” she said. “So, I’ve had so much support, and I so appreciate everybody that has helped us so far.”
Someone even has offered free nights at a hotel. However, beyond that, the next steps are uncertain.
“A week after a hotel stay,” said Baca. That’s too far in advance for me to even think of what we’re going to do.”
If you’d like to help the Baca family during this difficult time, click here.