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Lightning likely sparked fire that destroyed home

A lightning strike likely sparked a fire that quickly engulfed an elderly woman's home.

The fire broke out Monday afternoon on Long Fork Road in Madison County, north of Richmond.

A farmhand was rolling hay near the home at the time.

He told firefighters he saw a bolt of lightning strike the roof of the home as the storm was rolling in.

As flames started to spread, he says his only concern was the woman inside the home, 81-year-old Martha Smith.

Family members say the farmhand was only about 150 yards away from the home and tried to go in the front door.

The door was locked, so the farmhand ran to the walk-out basement. That's where he found Smith, unharmed.

Firefighters say she had been in the basement when the storm hit. The flames spread quickly throughout the home.

Family members say Smith will be staying with them until they can figure out what to do about the house.

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