Lightning blamed for house fires

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Hard luck for victim of lightning fire, again.

If you knew Ruth Bartlett's backstory, you'd have no idea how she could be cracking jokes as she stared at her bedroom that was gutted by fire.

"I am glad I made my bed!" she laughed.

Her unit at Townhomes of Seminole Lake, was hit by lightning during Wednesday afternoon's strong storms.

"It just cracked," she said. "It shook the whole place."

Seminole firefighters put out the fire, but she had by far the worst damage of any of the six units in her building.

"I am just glad to be here, I am glad my Missy is OK," she said, referring to her cat.

She might also have the worst luck.

"I am scared to death because I don't know what is going to happen," she added. "My renter's insurance doesn't start for another two weeks."

The question, "what now?" is colored by her past.

In 2012, FOX 13 did a story on her protest of Bank of America after she was foreclosed on. She told us Wednesday that she spent five years bouncing between homeless shelters.

But five months ago, Walmart hired her and she was able to rent her own place.

"And then this happens," she said. "I get hit by lightning."

We asked how she could explain that.

"I can't," was her answer.

Wednesday night, she will be put up by the Red Cross. Her landlord says it may take a month to redo her unit.

"Several of my neighbors have said they have extra bedrooms to stay for a couple of weeks," she said.

This time, at least her hardships have an end-date.

"Everything is washable and everything is replaceable," she said. "I am here, I am alive, that's all I can say. Thank God."

Even though she doesn't have renter's insurance, she was thankful for one more thing: Her family pictures are in storage, and thus were not harmed by the fire.