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Lightning strikes can damage indoor as well as outdoor

PHOENIX -- A Valley family of five escaped a house fire Thursday that began with what fire officials believed was a lighting strike.

Rosie Romero with KTAR's Rosie on the House said there's little that can be done to protect a home from lightning beyond having a lightning-rod system in place. That will carry the charge from the high points on the house deep into the ground.

Romero said power surges are a threat to just about everything electrical in a home. Power goes out during heavy storms, but it's when the power comes back up that computers, home entertainment systems, freezers and so on are vulnerable.

Don't count on household surge protectors purchased at the store. They cannot protect against a real surge. That kind of protection comes at the hands of a professional.

"An electrician needs to get inside of your electric panel and put a restrictor in. So even before the power gets into your home, it's captured and sent straight into the ground," Romero said.

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About the Author

Position: Senior News Reporter. Started with KTAR July 4, 1999.

Favorite food: Steak and shrimp, and any food on campouts.

Favorite spots in Arizona: Pinetop-Lakeside, Alpine, Greer.

Favorite news memory: The Wallow Fire in 2011 became the largest fire in state history. Rodeo-Chediski Fire in June 2002, which is the second largest fire in Arizona. The 2007 Southern California Firestorm and being at Sky Harbor Airport when the first plane lifted off several days after 9-11. Seeing the American flag on the tail of the Salt Lake City-bound Delta airliner as it took off still gives me goosebumps.

Favorite movies: True Grit, both 1969 John Wayne classic and the remake with Jeff Bridges -- which was outstanding --, Lonesome Dove.

First job: Spinning records at KLER Radio Orofino, Idaho 1980.

First concert: KISS/Cheap Trick 1977 Spokane, WA Coliseum.

Sports Teams: Washington State University Cougars, The University of Montana Grizzlies and Texas Rangers.

Outside interests: Sports, camping, fishing, traveling.


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