BERNARDS TOWNSHIP - A lightning strike is suspected to be the cause of a fire that damaged a home in Bernards Township Wednesday afternoon.

Township police say that the fire sparked around 2 p.m. at a home on the 300 block of South Finley Avenue.

Homeowner Scott Albertson says that just before the fire started he heard a loud thunder clap and then saw smoke and flames inside the home. He tried to put the fire out with a fire extinguisher, but when he wasn’t able to put the fire out, he called the fire department and left the home.

Fire departments from several nearby towns came to help extinguish the fire.

The fire damaged one of the home’s bedrooms and left a large hole in the roof. Albertson and his family will be forced to stay out of the home for the time being while repairs are made.

No one was hurt during the fire.