GREENFIELD — Lightning struck a house in Greenfield overnight Thursday, badly damaging the structure and displacing the family that called it home.

As storms blew through Hancock County late Wednesday night and early Thursday morning, lightning struck a home in the 1100 block of Johnson Circle in the Cricket Reel subdivision, causing a fire that damaged portions of the house, officials said.

Neighbors were awakened by the strike, whose boom could be heard as far as a mile away. They peered out their windows to see what had happened and called 911 when they spotted smoke and flames coming from the home on their street, Greenfield Fire Territory Chief James Roberts said.

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The fire spread quickly; flames were already shooting through the roof of the home when crews arrived, Roberts said.

The lightning blasted two holes in the roof over the garage of the home, which is owned by Leo and Margaret Richardson.

The fire tore through the garage and attic, destroying much of that north-facing portion of the house, Robert said.

It did not, however, spread into the remaining structure, where the family was sleeping at the time, he said.

The rest of the home suffered moderate smoke and water damage, though it is expected to be repairable, officials said.

Crews from the Greenfield Fire Territory were able to douse the flames in about 15 minutes, said Roberts, who estimated the damage at about $75,000.

The family was able to escape the fire without injury. Officials said they were planning to stay with friends and family while the damage to their home was repaired.

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Caitlin VanOverberghe is a reporter at the Greenfield Daily Reporter. She can be reached at 317-477-3237 or