A South Barrington family of five is safe after firefighters Tuesday afternoon battled a fire at their house, which may have been struck by lightning.
The big, red brick house on the 0-100 block of Terra Vita Drive was ablaze all afternoon, with Palatine firefighters on ladders pouring water from above.
Standing outside his house this afternoon, homeowner Sargon Boudakh said his wife and two of their children, a girl, 14 and a boy, 11, were home when the lightning bolt hit. All three got out OK, he said. He was at work, and another girl, 8, was on a play date, he said.
The entrance to the house is destroyed, and the roof is gone. At one point, flames could be seen through the second-floor windows.
There are no fire hydrants in this area, and so firefighters relied on pumper trucks for water.
Neighbor Brandon Jacobs said he heard two explosions -- he believes the first was the lightning strike but is unsure what the second one was.
Another neighbor, Sanjana Naidu, said she also was at home Tuesday when she heard what sounded like thunder and felt her home shake slightly. She looked out and saw the neighbor's house had caught fire.
Angelo Grossi, who said he is a very close friend of the family, said the victims were "the nicest family that exists. They will do anything for anybody."