STRASBURG, Colo. — Paula Hull was at work as an Aurora 911 dispatcher when her house was struck by lightning. Her two teenage sons were home alone in the living room.
“I was on a chair in the living room charging my phone, and then the lightning struck, so my phone shocked me,” John Pedigo, her 16-year-old, said. “We thought nothing of it, because the power was still on, and then 15 minutes later, we noticed a smell and then looked outside, and our house was on fire.”
Now, the family is looking for a new place to live after lightning started the fire that consumed their Strasburg home Sunday night.
“What they’ve told me so far is the structure is a total loss, and the contents as well,” says Paula Hull.
When John and Ben Pedigo, 15, realized their home was on fire, they grabbed the family pets and ran outside to a neighbors home.
“We just got out of there pretty much, just grabbed the animals and got out of there,” says John.
Paula Hull came rushing home to firefighters frantically working to put out the flames.
“I’ve dispatched calls where people’s houses are on fire and I’ve taken those calls, you’re the calm in the storm, and you try to get them through,” she said. “I never thought it would come to my family, and that the things that I taught my boys would be something they’d have to use, but they’ve listened to me obviously.”
Hull says it’s hard to stomach the personal memories that are not destroyed.
“It breaks my heart,” she said. “There’s a lot of sentimental stuff in there. But it’s all property, all the people got out, and all the property can be replaced.”
The Strasburg community has started a handful of fundraisers to get the family back on its feet.
An account has been opened in their name at the TBK Bank in Strasburg.
The Aurora Police Association has also started a fundraiser.