Funnel cloud, downed trees reported in Crystal Lake overnight

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No one was hurt but there’s a lot of work ahead for a Crystal Lake family whose house was struck by lightning early today.

Scott DeBates almost slept through the storm that left his Crystal Lake home uninhabitable.

“Then all of a sudden the whole house shook,” DeBates told WGN this morning.  “My son got up, I got up and looked around, looked outside and couldn’t see any of the trees down.”

He went back to bed but minutes later things got worse.

“I came out to the front door and saw embers coming down,” he said.  “And then I saw the tree over here with a big split in it.  I came out and the house was on fire.”

A lightning strike had sent the attic up in flames just after 3 a.m.

The Crystal Lake Fire Dept. and ten other departments responded.  The area is not served by fire hydrants, but everything was under control about 40 minutes later.

It was five years ago today that the family purchased the home in foreclosure, planning to remodel it into their dream home.  They’ve been working on it ever since.

“Everybody’s safe, everybody’s sound.  The house is going to be fixed eventually,” DeBates said.  “That’s all you can ask for.”

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