Behavioral health facility set to open destroyed by monsoon lightning near Cave Creek

A Valley man was left with a big mess after his property and almost ready to open health care facility caught fire from a lightning strike last week.

Joe Landin got a surprise call that his behavioral health treatment facility that was getting ready to open caught fire during a monsoon storm lightning strike.

Although this is a huge and expensive setback, Landin says he's just happy no one was there at the time.

"They said it sounded like a bomb went off," he said.

It was around 5 a.m. on Friday when Landin got a call from the Phoenix Fire Department saying his north Phoenix property was on fire. 

"I came here that morning and the whole house was just flooded from the fire department, from the sprinklers going off, they were pushing water out the front door," he said.

The most extensive damage was to the roof.

"The trusses are burnt. If you look up there, the whole roof burned all the way down both sides," Landin said.

The home near Cave Creek and west of SR-51 is one Landin recently purchased. The property was set to open as a behavioral health residential treatment center on Aug. 1.

"It was a lot more damage than what I expected and the more we look at it, we just keep seeing how the water ran down the walls. The drywalls are all soft and the smoke smell has riddled into the insulation. There are points where you can see in the other room where the fire wasn’t present, it's coming out of the AC ducts. It’s just crazy what a little lightning strike can do," Landin said.

Chris Owens with National Fire Response says the magnitude of the flames doesn’t dictate how much damage there will be.

"The fire in the attic was significant enough that it pressurized the structure and it starts blowing smoke out of every orifice. We’re going to gut the house down to the studs. the whole entire roof is coming off. The only thing that will be remaining are the exterior walls and the interior walls," Owens explained.

It will take about six months to a year to rebuild the home and the cost of damages start at $150,000.

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