LEWES, Del.- There were dozens of dispatches in a six-hour window before the Lewes Fire Department was called to a house fire in Lewes caused by a lightning strike on Sunday.
Jean Savittieri lives in Hart's Landing near the home that burned to ground. She said everything went so fast but firefighters arrived quickly.
"In my estimation, I'm guessing about maybe 15 minutes," she said. "I can't be exact. I didn't have a clock and there was so much going on."
After the first dispatch came in, firefighters fought through the weather to make it on scene in 14 minutes.
"The roads were impassable," said EMS Chief Glenn Marshall. "The visibility was very limited at the key times and some of the structures that were fighting fires, they had to limit themselves due to the lightning."
The gear the firefighters wear weighs 40 pounds when dry and only gets heavier when it is wet.
"When we're in there actively fighting fire, we're going through standing water, hauling the hoses, hauling tubes," Marshall said. "It really put an extra stress on the firefighters that were there."
Assistant Fire Chief Walter Reynolds understands people think it took longer than 14 minutes for fire crews to arrive.
"When you're in time of need, the clock seems to tick a lot quicker than what is really taking place," he said.
Reynolds said arriving quickly is important, but he has to ensure the safety of his firefighters first.
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