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First Bristol Harbour home destroyed by fire
by Evan White
South Bristol, N.Y.--No one was hurt, but a raging fire destroyed the first home in the Bristol Harbour development.
Neighbors recall hearing rumbles from thunder and late Tuesday night, a loud crack that they believe was a lightning strike.
Whether it hit the charred Hillside Drive home or not remains unclear, according to investigators.
The home which is owned by the Sharza family is 54-years-old and is the first house in Bristol Harbour according to its association. The Sharzas live at a different address and were not home at the time.
"The lightning and thunder was so loud and you could tell it hit something," said Ethel Charlton, who lives next door. "I jumped and my friends thought I was being irrational for being frightened by lightning and thunder and here it hit next door."
The fire is not considered suspicious. While investigators have interviewed numerous neighbors, they say the timelines for when the lightning struck varied a great deal. Investigators are leaning toward lightning as the fire's cause, but the investigation is not yet finished, said Jeffrey Harloff of the Ontario County Emergency Management Office.
Homeowner John Sharza did not respond to a request for comment.