KOOTENAI COUNTY, Idaho --- Lightning started a house fire Wednesday night near Silver Beach and it was reported by someone who saw it happen from over a mile away.

“All the sudden --- whoom! This monster lightning bolt. And it went right across our windows and it shook the house,” said next door neighbor, Dave Spiker.

Spiker said he thought it was his house that had been hit. Before he realized it was his neighbor’s house, a person from across the lake was already calling 911.

“It turned out the guy across the lake had called the fire department. He actually saw it hit,” said Spiker.

The owners of the burnt house above Coeur d’Alene Lake Drive were gone at the time of the lightning strike. The witness who reported the fire was so quick that firefighters were able to get there promptly and control the blaze.

“The flames were coming up this corner of his house pretty good. It turns out a propane tank was involved,” said Spiker.

The damage to the house is estimated to be around $50,000.

Kootenai County Fire and Rescue said they see a fire like this about once a year at the most.

Spiker said the owner had told him he has land in California that has been struck by lightning too.

“He’s been hit twice. To say you never get hit by lightning twice --- maybe it’s not true,” said Spiker.