House fire caused by possible strike; a teenager beaten up on vacation; a mom advocates safety

COLLIER COUNTY

A family walked out of their Golden Gate Estates home on Monday after a fire ripped through their roof, and investigators are checking to see if lightning triggered it.

It comes just days after a teenage boy from Georgia vacationing in Marco Island was struck by lightning. One family we spoke to knows love at first sight all too well and strives to educate others after their son was hit when he was younger.

Firefighters told us that a big problem with fighting the house fire was the lack of hydrants on the streets. They had to quickly bring tankers to the scene. Fortunately, they were able to get him out and the family was able to get out of the house safely.

Firefighters were also able to save a statue that had deep spiritual significance for the family. Their family, friends and neighbors cheered and applauded them. They prayed around the statue near their car.

Firefighters told us lightning was in the area at the time of the blaze, and they are investigating to see if that was the cause.

Walker Bethune. Credit: shared with WINK News.

Friends of Walker Bethune, 17, told us he was still in hospital Monday after being struck by light on Marco Island recently.

A mom and dad we spoke to know exactly what Bethune’s family is going through.

“It was kind of love at first sight they call it, a red lightning event,” said Father William Moeller. “There was nothing we could prepare for. “

Brayden Moeller was 12 when he played football with his father and was struck by lightning.

“I heard the loudest noise I have ever heard in my life, and it was struck by lightning,” said William.

“Almost two weeks he was in intensive care,” mother Cindy Moeller said. “He was on a ventilator at the start. “

A man who helped Brayden’s father perform CPR on him helped save his life.

“The doctor told us if it hadn’t been for CPR the outcome would have been totally different,” Cindy said.

Now, Brayden’s family advocates for CPR training and lightning safety.

“Lightning safety is very important not to be taken for granted, you know, we all took it for granted before it happened to us,” Cindy said. “You know, it seems like we’re hearing about it more and more. “

The Moeller family wanted the Bethune family to know that they understand what they are going through together.

“We hope that our story of how far we have come will be an inspiration to them,” said Cindy.

Bethune’s friends and family also have her in their prayers Monday night.

“Walker’s personality is great. Everyone knows him ; everyone loves it, ”said Logan Bowlds, school principal at Stratford Academy in Georgia. “He’s got just about every person praying for him in this community, thinking of him.”

We are told Bethune is in stable but critical condition.

We asked about more lightning detectors on the beaches here in Southwest Florida. A Collier County commissioner told us they wanted to focus on lightning safety and education.

About Gene Schafer

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