MILTON, Ga. (CBS46) — Milton firefighters suspect lightning strikes are responsible for two apartment fires in just four days. 

The first one was last Friday at Camden Deerfield off Summit Boulevard. The second was Tuesday at IMT Deerfield just up the road.

"We hear like a lightning strike and it sounded like it hit close, but I went out and I didn't see any smoke or flames or anything," said Jacquita Schecter, who lived at IMT Deerfield with her husband and son.
She said the three of them snagged some of their important items and then ran to safety once a neighbor shouted that there was a fire.
Now, they don't have a home.
"It's horrible. Our son is six years old and he's grown up here. He's been here since he was six months old and he doesn't know anything different and he just wants to go home."
Her neighbors, Misty and Lily Reynolds were on vacation in Florida when they received a call they never thought they'd get. 
"She called and she said 'Misty, our apartment's on fire, our apartments on fire!" Misty said. "It was just sad. There's no tears now because I've cried and lost my voice and been crying for days."
Chopper 46 surveyed the damage. Video shows two large, burnt pits in the building. Lightning struck the same complex about a year ago, burning another building across the street.
"That's the first time that it's happened with apartment complexes," said Matt Marietta with the Milton Fire Department, when asked about two fires potentially from lightning at complexes within just four days. "They were maybe a mile from each other."
Marietta says no one was injured in either case but dozens of people lost everything.
The department is hosting a donation drive at its different locations until next Friday, August 6th. They are asking for household items like bed sheets, towels and kitchen supplies.
"At that point you're looking at a significant number of Milton residents that lost access to their clothing and their personal items," Marietta said.
Atlanta Lightning Protection says there are ways to protect you and your home from a dangerous strike.
"Georgia is the second or third most struck state in the country depending on the year, but Atlanta especially has a higher strike density than most other areas," said Baylen Smith project manager at Atlanta Lightning Protection.
Smith says they install a series of rods depending on the home's square footage.
"This is what is going to intercept the lightning strike. It's going to go up on top of your house. Once this intercepts the lightning, it's going to travel a cable down and into a ground rod inside your house."
They also can install surge protectors for appliances.
Along with the donation drive, a friend set up a GoFundMe for Misty and Lily Reynolds.


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