WHATELY, Mass. (WWLP) - Recent thunderstorms in western Massachusetts have left a couple of homes badly damaged, and residents wondering if there are any precautions that they can take if a thunderstorm strikes.
On Tuesday, a Whately home caught fire after a lightning strike , and another fire in Shelburne Falls was caused by a lightning strike the next day.
The National Weather Service says that if you hear thunder outside, you are within striking range, and rain may not always precede the lightning.
If you are outdoors and know a storm may come, you should seek shelter immediately. Once inside remember not too touch anything that is plugged into an electrical outlet. Also, remember to wait indoors for an extra thirty minutes after the storm has seemed to pass.
Kevin Bushey, a neighbor to the house that caught fire in Whately, said he has seen lightning strike a few times around the area, and had a close call himself when he was in his barn.
"I was inside there feeding the horses, and the lightning hit and it was just a big flash of bright light and it kind of blinds you for a while, and it then it blew out some breakers and some wires," Bushey said.
Remember that monitoring the weather is one of the best ways to keep you safe, and you can do that 24/7 on WWLP.com.