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Lightning suspect in fire

By By Janet Little Cooper
A home on Meadow Drive in Atmore went up in smoke Tuesday afternoon following what neighbors believe to have been a lightning strike.
Atmore Fire and Rescue Department received a call around 1 p.m. stating that the home of Jimmy and Pam Dees located at 812 Meadow Drive was on fire.
When firefighters arrived at the scene, they found the backside of the brick structure engulfed in plumes of smoke that appeared to be coming from the attic.
Shirley Fayard, who lives across the street, reported the fire as she watched in horror from her front porch. She later watched as firefighters knocked down the couple's front door.
"They didn't know if anyone was home," Fayard said. "They came out with their dog and realized that no one was home thank goodness. I am sure it was lightening. We heard such a clanging crash and knew that it was close by. It was so loud. I looked out and saw the smoke and called 9-1-1 immediately."
Another neighbor, Rodney Helton also called in for help.
"There was no blaze, just a lot of smoke," Fayard said. "The smoke was so bad, I couldn't stay outside with it. We are all just so devastated. It could have been any of us on this road. I feel so bad for the them."
According to the couple's daughter-in-law Kim Dees, Pam was in Pensacola and her husband was at a doctor's appointment at the time of the fire. The couple had been notified and was traveling back to Atmore shortly after the fire was extinguished.
The Poarch Volunteer Fire Department assisted the Atmore Fire and Rescue Department. Kelley's Ambulance also responded to the scene.