FAYETTE — Meredith Pepper had just put a movie in for her three children to watch Thursday afternoon when she heard a loud boom.

She went upstairs and discovered smoke rolling out of the bedroom outlets.

She heard a second loud noise and called her husband, Tim, who told her to call 911. While on the phone with a dispatcher, she scooped up all three children — ages 4, 5 and 8 — and ran out of the house.

“I grabbed all three kids like a mother bear and ran to my car,” she said.

Within minutes of receiving the 3:08 p.m. call, firefighters from Fayette, Manchester, Readfield, Vienna and Mount Vernon arrived at the Peppers’ home at 246 Young Road.

Lightning from a fast-moving storm had struck the roof, starting a fire over the second floor, said Fayette Fire Chief Marty Maxwell. The crews contained the fire quickly, but there was heavy smoke and water damage throughout the house.

“We call it a really nice stop,” Maxwell said.

On Friday, Meredith and Tim waited for an insurance agent to assess the damage. The couple built the two-story log home themselves 10 years ago, living in the basement at first and moving up as they were able.

For now, they are staying at a relative’s camp, Tim said.

“Everything we own is smoke damaged,” Meredith said. “Black stuff is everywhere that you can’t get off. It makes it overwhelming.”

The couple is grateful to area firefighters for their quick response.

“They were here really fast and got it under control,” she said.

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