Lightning Blamed for Two House Fires in Mansfield

Fire investigators said lightning possibly hit three to four homes and caused two of them to catch fire in Mansfield on Sunday morning.

“You wake up first thing in the morning and have a cup of coffee like any other day and three hours later you don't have a house,” said James Dopson, who lived in one of the homes that caught fire. 

“It [the fire] got pretty big, pretty fast and that was it,” said Dopson. 

It was a neighbor who alerted Dopson that his house was on fire on Sailboat Drive. He escaped with his 10-year-old daughter and cat. Fortunately, nobody was injured.

“I knew instantly that they needed help and that's what I was going to do,” said Savannah Morgan, who lives across the street from Dopson. 

Neighbors who've never met Dopson came to help, realizing the lightning that destroyed his home could have easily destroyed their own. 

“It shook the windows in the house,” said Morgan as she describes the lightning strike.  

“It sounded like a loud boom,” said another neighbor. “Something I’ve never heard before.”

Just a quarter of a mile away, another home on Poppy Drive went up in flames due to a lightning bolt earlier that morning. The roof was destroyed and a family of four was displaced, but uninjured

As crews were cleaning up the scene on Poppy Drive, they were immediately dispatched to Sailboat Drive for another fire. 

Most of Dopson's belongings inside his home on Sailboat Drive were destroyed, but he tried to salvage the very little that was left Sunday. 

“You have neighbors coming from the next block that you've never met bringing water, refreshments, food clothing and shoes,” said Dopson.

“You think to yourself, ‘There’s a lot of good people out there.”

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