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Lightning hits Beach man’s childhood home

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Posted at 11:07 PM, May 16, 2012
and last updated 2012-05-16 23:43:07-04

Luther Gilbert sat and watched the thing he loved most get eaten by fire. Lightning hit his home, one that's been in his family for 100 years.

"I feel like a part of me is gone," said Gilbert. "It was an act of God. By the same token, I'm hurt. Always, this is where I was raised and it always meant a lot to me."

Five generations of Gilberts had lived there.

Gilbert's fields of corn needed the rain. The storm was supposed to be good fortune.

"We're glad to have rain anytime, but you know you get the good with the bad, you get thunder and lightning with the rain," Gilbert said.

Gilbert says the house has caught fire before. Forty years ago, he says his father saved it.

His family's luck ran out. Crews got there quickly. They were in the area for another Pungo house that was also hit by lightning.

Firefighters couldn't go in the home to try to save it; it was too dangerous.

Fire was trapped inside the old home's attic.

"Matter of fact, it's still standing after all of this," Gilbert said.

Gilbert says they don't build them like they used to. After talking to him for a few minutes you quickly realize they don't build men like him anymore either.

The house is as much a part of his family as his last name.

"I don't really see any good. Like I told my son a while ago, we'll just start over, that's all," Gilbert said.