Firecrackers weren't the only thing lighting up the night sky on July 4. Lighting struck at least four houses and burned two - with one house burning down completely - during a brief but intense storm that swept through the county yesterday evening.
A flurry of calls came within 10 minutes after 4 p.m. related to the storm, according to Rockdale County Fire and Rescue Department interim Deputy Chief Dan Morgan.
Two houses on South Pine Street were struck and found smoking in the attic but no fire. Two homes on Smyrna Road, one in the 1700 block and one in the 2400 block, were struck and resulted in structure fires.
The home on the 1700 block of Smyrna Road reportedly had heavy damage to the second story and room because of the fire and water and smoke damage in the first floor.
The home at the 2400 block of Smyrna Road was engulfed in flames by the time firefighters arrived, and the home burned to the ground.
DeKalb County's fire department sent units over to help fight the 2400 block house fire on Smyrna Road, which had firefighters on scene until at least 1 a.m. this morning.
Walton and Newton counties also sent units to Rockdale stations to be on standby while most of Rockdale's units were busy answering lighthing-related calls.
"It was very localized on the southern part of the county. It just really clobbered south Rockdale," said Morgan.
"We called for help and our neighbors helped us," he said.
Lighting related calls also came in on Sunday afternoon, resulting in one or two brush fires but no structure fires.