A Big Spring Road home built in the 1700s was destroyed by flames after lightning struck the house at 9:22 p.m. Saturday.
A family of five -- two adults and three children -- escaped the home safely, but were displaced. The family is staying with friends.
According to South Central Pa First Alert, the first unit on the scene reported a working fire with poor access to the house in the 600 block due to a small bridge to cross. Cumberland County 911 advised the house was fully on fire and the house was to be evacuated.
At one point, the structure became unsafe for firefighters to enter, and they were instructed to cease all interior attacks and commence an exterior attack.
Water was drawn from the Big Spring Creek just a few yards away. No firefighters reported any injuries.
Some units were on the scene until about 6 a.m. Sunday.
Emergency personnel from the Friendship Hose Co. of Newville, Friendship Hose Co. EMS, South Newton Township Fire Co., Newburg-Hopewell Fire Co., Vigilant Hose Co., Cumberland Valley Hose Co., West End Fire & Rescue Co., Shippensburg Area EMS, Penn Township Fire Co., West Pennsboro Township Fire Co., and Upper Frankford Township Fire Co. responded to the scene.
A GoFundMe account has been set up for donations for the family. The description reads: “Good friends of ours lost their home and all their belongings in a house fire from a lightning strike during severe storms on Saturday, June 1. Their home is a total loss. The Pagels have three daughters, ages 18, 15, and 7. At this point, they are residing at our home and don't have an exact plan on where they will be going. They literally only have the clothes that were on their backs. At this point, we are requesting monetary donations to help supplement what they've lost and get them back on their feet. We appreciate all who are reaching out and have requested information on how to help.”
More than $22,600 of the $25,000 goal had been raised as of Tuesday morning.
To donate to the family, visit: https://www.gofundme.com/family-of-5-lose-home-to-fire.