Dramatic moment a tree was set on FIRE by a lightning bolt

·2-min read

This is the terrifying moment a tree was set on FIRE after being hit by a lightning bolt, just three feet from where a family stood in their garden. 

Monica Capen, 47, was filming the storm outside her parents' home in Climax, North Carolina, USA when a bolt caught a tree closer than she expected on March 27.

A flash of orange and red suddenly bursts into shot as the lightning bolt hits the tree, setting it alight for a brief moment and burning the wood.

The video clip ends dramatically with Monica shrieking in surprise and almost dropping the camera as she races inside, but her and her family were thankfully safe.

Monica, from Greensboro, North Carolina, said: "We were hanging out under a shelter by the swimming pool watching storms roll in in the mid-afternoon. 

"I began filming after watching lots of lightning in the area, and a very close strike raced across the sky. 

"My brother mentioned how close that was and that he was going in the house. 

"No sooner than him walking in the back door, with my parents and myself still outside, the strike of a lifetime happened. 

"It was so loud and scary. I immediately screamed and went towards the house, screaming for my mom who was walking towards her pool house to get inside. 

"More strikes occurred on my way into the house that were close and extremely loud. 

"We then looked out the door to watch the hail pour down and realized just how close that strike was. 

"I then remembered I was recording and went to look at the video, only to see just how lucky we were. 

"The strike hit the treeline approximately 50 yards from where we were standing. It had appeared in the footage it split and struck two trees possibly catching one on fire."

Office manager Monica visited the site of the strike after the storm had calmed down and saw the lightning had gone down the side of the tree and struck a birdhouse attached to a long metal pole that was lying nearby.

It had also left a hole in the ground that was about six feet in diameter and three inches deep, and had burnt and snapped nearby plants.

She said: "We then realized how lucky we were, being so close and especially considering we were standing 20 feet from a large in-ground swimming pool which could have very well have been the contact point and we would have surely been killed. 

"Someone was looking out for us that day."