NAPLES — A local firefighter’s home was damaged today after being struck by lightning.

Naples Deputy Chief Chris Burnham said the firefighter and his wife were at home around 4:15 p.m. when a nearby tree was struck by a bolt of lightning.

The electrical charge travelled underground, mostly likely along a water source, and caused the basement of the home at 41 Brandyview Terrace to catch fire.

The firefighter, whose name is not being released, fled the two-story home with his wife, but the family’s cat, Spike, remained inside.

Burnham went inside the house and found the cat hiding under a woodstove. It was unconcious.

Burnham took Spike outside the home where Animal Control Officer Bobby Silcott used a pet oxygen mask to successfully revive the animal. The mask is relatively new, the result of a fundraising effort between Silcott and a local animal shelter.

Except for the basement area, firefighters were able to protect the remainder of the house.
The home’s owners were shook up, but were not injured, Burnham said.