A 62-year-old invalid man died in an early Sunday house fire in Lula that might have been caused by a lightning strike.
Hall County firefighters responded at 3:15 a.m. to the fire at 6030 Maiden Lane. When they arrived, they found fire had mostly consumed the 1,200-square-foot, single-story wood structure, said Fire Chief David Kimbrell.
Bystanders said someone was possibly trapped inside. Kimbrell said firefighters found the 62-year-old man dead in his bedroom. Coroner Marion Merck identified the victim as James Moon.
Moon’s wife, whose name wasn’t known Sunday, “attempted to assist (her husband) into a wheelchair ... but the (fire) conditions forced her out,” Kimbrell said.
She later told fire officials she thought lightning might have struck the house, Kimbrell said.
Investigators have ruled out an intentional fire, but they don’t know the exact cause.
“All indications now are that it was accidental and ... (we’re) leaning toward lightning,” Kimbrell said.
Strong storms, accompanied by thunder and lightning, passed through North Georgia beginning early Saturday and lasting until early Sunday. At one point, Hall and surrounding counties were under a tornado watch until 3 a.m. Sunday.
The fire caused about $120,000 in damage, rendering the house a total loss, Kimbrell said.
The house is near downtown Lula and close to Ga. 51/Homer Highway and the Banks County line.
The American Red Cross was called to help Moon’s wife, who was staying with family Sunday, Kimbrell said.