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Lightning sets a house on fire in Livermore Falls

LIVERMORE FALLS (WGME) -- A lightning strike sets a house on fire in Livermore Falls  and now the homeowner is left with a lot of cleaning up to do.

Firefighters say there wasn't any other damage in the area, besides the damage at seven Oak Street when lightning struck at about 2 p.m. Thursday.

The homeowner, John Brown, is devastated.

"This definitely wasn't on the weekend schedule," Brown said.

In an instant, the strike destroyed the work that's taken him years.

He's renovated his kitchen, installed a new bathroom, and just finished putting in a new roof.

That roof is partially gone, his upstairs bedrooms are burned, and his belongings are soaked.

Firefighters saved his collection of guitars, and most importantly, his dog, Tootsie.

"I got my buddy, I can rebuild," Brown said.

When the storm came through, residents knew right away something went wrong.

"It came down, a lightning strike, like a big ball of fire," said neighbor Samantha Foss.

"It was a big boom," said another resident Stanley Hartford.

Now, neighbors are lending a hand, donating essentials, like clothes and food, for the short-term.

Brown's grateful for the support, but still worried for what's ahead.

He canceled his insurance last year.

"Just couldn't afford the bill," he said. "Figured nothing would happen."

Brown's friend Brian Merchant was at the scene hours after the fire.

"He's a good guy, he deserves some help," Merchant said. "This isn't cutting him a break at all, he's been working hard."

He's worked hard to make a home and says this just means, there's plenty more work to do.

"I'll try to rebuild it and try to move on," Brown said.

Residents on Oak Street have set up a fund to help their neighbor. To donate, CLICK HERE

Meanwhile, Brown says he and his dog will be staying with a friend.