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Lightning Strike Destroys CBS 11 Photojournalist's Home

RICHARDSON (CBSDFW.COM) - Tuesday night's storms may not have been considered severe by meteorologists, but don't tell that to residents who have property damage or have lost everything.

A lightning bolt, that came and went in less than a second, destroyed a life that took years to build by Edgar Solis and his family.

Edgar isn't just a storm victim; he is a friend and longtime CBS 11 photojournalist.

While he now must replace his home along and many valuables, he and his children were at least able to get out of the house safely.

Among all the furniture, clothes, toys and electronics soaked in soot, the loss of a 60-year-old painting hurts Edgar the most. "My mom passed away two weeks ago so this is the only painting that I have," he said softly, "to me this is the most valuable thing in my house. Everything else can be replaced."

Edgar and his two children were asleep, and never even heard thunder, when a lightning strike started a fire that raced through the attic of their Richardson home.

"I got up and I smelled smoke," he said.

Edgar, his two kids and their dog were able to maneuver through a narrow hallway and got out of the house just seconds before it filled with smoke and even before the smoke detector activated.

Firefighters were on the scene in minutes, but too late to save the home.

"I gotta laugh. It's all I can do. It's Mother Nature," Edgar said.

CBS 11 News talked with the project manager at South River Restoration, John Boucher, who said, "This is one of the top worst lightning strikes I've been involved with myself."

Cleanup crews and insurance adjusters said they are surprised no one was killed in the fast moving fire.

But Edgar believes it was more than luck, and hopes to restore the portrait of his late mother which he believes saved him.

"I want to say it's my mom being the guardian angel, that she was waking me up."

There were multiple lightning strikes causing damage to trees in Richardson, but it appears no other homes in the area were hit.

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