With a strike of a lightning bolt, 40 years of memories disappeared into a burst of flames for Karlton and Donna Nash of Dearborn, as their home located along Hwy. 371 in northern Platte County caught fire last Wednesday evening around 8:30 p.m.
Dearborn Fire Chief Darren Paden said Platte County had just gone under a severe thunderstorm watch when they received the 911 call from Nash’s neighbor, Don Sams.
“Their neighbor was outside at the time of the lightning strike and saw it happen,” said Paden. Paden said the lightning struck a two-way radio antenna.
“Our neighbors came running over because it made so much noise,” said Donna Nash, homeowner and Platte County Collector. “It was like a big bomb went off. They saw flames in the basement and our windows were blown out.”
The family, who was at the Lake of the Ozarks at the time of the fire, was notified by their son and returned home at around 11:30 p.m. on Wednesday to view the damages.
“We’ve been in that house for 37 years,” said Nash. “It was just devastating. You’ve got 40 years of memories that you just see gone.”
For the Nashes, there are many memories throughout those 40 years that can never be replaced.
“It was our first home that we owned,” Nash stated. “We raised our kids in that house. When we moved out there, our youngest child was nine months old and our oldest son was four.”
Along with the response from the Dearborn Fire Department, the Central Platte Fire District and the Weston, Edgerton and Camden Point Fire Departments also responded.
“When there’s a structural fire, it’s an automatic mutual aid response to the fire,” said Paden. “If we don’t need everyone then we start turning people back.”
However, in the case of the Nash fire, Paden said there was a definite need for the use of everyone that responded.
Paden said that with everyone’s help, they had the fire out in about one hour. The fire was confined to a quarter of the basement and one bedroom upstairs, with the rest of the home receiving smoke damage.
The fire marshal has estimated approximately $80-100,000 in damages to the home. Nash stated that the family is currently working with the insurance company to determine a loss estimate.
“I can’t say enough for the firefighters, they were fantastic. They saved everything they could possibly save,” said Nash.